S-Bahn precision trains in the current cycle are physically impossible
Florian J. Hamann column
There may be a few train drivers who have traveled to as far afield as MegaSim. Sometimes he drives on the New York Underground, then again with LGV Méditerranée via France or with the historic “Flying Scotsman” from London to Edinburgh. But he especially enjoys traveling in Germany, and especially in Bavaria. Admittedly, MegaSim is not a true train driver, but a British Youtuber, whose big passion is train simulators like “Train Sim World 2” that are very realistic. Every day he publishes new videos in which he and his 5,000 subscribers discover the most beautiful railways in the world. Hundreds of train journeys are now archived on his channel. This week, he took his viewers on a ride with the S3 from the main train station to the Maisach – thus helping at least a small section of the area gain global attention.
He left Lochhausen at 11.55 am with a delay of 30 seconds and set off for the border of the countryside. “Okay Grobensell is next stop. Nice.” An adjective that locals probably won’t be the first to think of when trying to describe Gröbenzell train station. For viewers from afar, the scene – amazingly realistic – that MegaSim explores can be fun. However, the thirty-minute video offers a completely different view for those who are late for the S-Bahn. Because no matter how hard an experienced virtual train driver tried, one thing simply didn’t work out: being on time. One of the commentators below confirms that this is not due to his driving skills. “I can never run to time on this road,” she says. And MegaSim, which probably knows every train you can travel on, also has an explanation for it: “I think it’s the acceleration and brakes.” Both are too weak to be able to safely and correctly speed from station to station, i.e. from Oltsching to Görnlinden and Maisak, on time. So if this can’t be achieved in a computer game that tends to be a little less complicated and a little easier than reality, how can real train drivers in real S-Bahns stick to the schedule? Therefore precision S-Bahn trains are virtually impossible. This should give railway planners something to think about, and at least spark passenger’s understanding of hard-working train drivers.