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Live from Leipzig: A Photo Essay

Wednesday, May 02, 2012 - 03:00 PM

I'll be reporting this week from the International Transport Forum's annual summit in Leipzig, Germany. Expect much more in the days ahead, where I'll be hearing about Italy's new privately-funded high-speed rail line, the latest traffic safety data, and how researchers are creatively visualizing transport data. But for now, a transportation photo essay.

I flew out of JFK (spotting the space shuttle along the way) to Berlin and took the train to Leipzig. Deutsche Bahn, the German rail provider, allows bicycles on trains in specially designated compartments:

A DB train (photo by Kate Hinds)

Fields of yellow flowers are blooming alongside the tracks of the DB train from Berlin to Leipzig. I was told by an Australian journalist these are canola flowers. (And also told by a Canadian that the word "canola" comes from Canada.)

(photo by Kate Hinds)

The Leipzig hauptbahnhof -- train station -- is the largest terminus (dead end) rail station in Europe. But the city is constructing a tunnel right now that will end the need for trains to reverse and circumvent the city in order to keep going.

(photo by Kate Hinds)

Worker washing the window of a DB train that's stopping in Leipzig en route from Berlin to Munich:

(photo by Kate Hinds)

Sign advising drivers not to leave valuables in their parked cars -- because otherwise a giant hand will come out of the sky and remove the entire vehicle. (Caveat: translation might not be precise.)

(photo by Kate Hinds)

Many streets in the center of Leipzig are closed to car traffic during business hours.

(photo by Kate Hinds)

Nextbike, a German bike share company, operates Leipzig's bike share system.

(photo by Kate Hinds)

Interestingly, the system doesn't rely on stations. Instead, when members see a bike they want to ride, they call a hotline, give the company the number on the back of the bicycle, and then get the lock code.  When finished, members park and lock the bike and then call the hotline to give the company the location.

(photo by Kate Hinds)

A sign translating the pedestrian crossing signals.

(photo by Kate Hinds)

Two things prized in Leipzig: bicycles and ice cream. (I counted five ice cream parlors in a four-block radius.)

(photo by Kate Hinds)

Bicycles are welcomed almost everywhere in Leipzig -- but please do not lean them again this wall!

(photo by Kate Hinds) 

A mural commemorating the democracy movement. Leipzig -- which was in Eastern Germany -- was a key city in the protest movement.

(photo by Kate Hinds)

Tram stop in Leipzig. Note the LED sign with arrival times.

(photo by Kate Hinds)

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Comments [1]

Martin

Those yellow flowers are "Raps" or rape (that's what the online dictionary says). It's a plant used to make biodiesel. The EU gives incentives to grow the plant, which is why you'll see this plant a lot all over Germany.
The red double decker train is a regional train, which does indeed allow bikes. For faster intercity travel, only certain trains have bike compartments. The white one train, the true high speed rail which goes up to 180mph on certain parts of the Berlin-Munich trip, does not have room for that.
Looking forward to more reporting - and make sure you go visit the place where Bach lived.

May. 03 2012 10:41 PM

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