Wednesday, 29 February 2012

What? Sad again? In Offnadingen!

Comment Confirms Continental Concern

Followers of the fatbusbloke's "Public Transport Experience" blog will know that the provision of timetable information, etc, in the UK is not always what it might or should be. Here's proof that the UK is not alone!

"RC169" added a link to the above comment on Monday's blog about out-of-date information at Newbury bus station. See "Notable Newbury Niceties [1]" (read again).

RC169 continues:-

The village of Offnadingen is a couple of kilometres north east of Bad Krozingen in south west Germany ...
... and local public transport services in the area are provided under the auspices of the Regio-Verkehrsverbund Freiburg.


Of course the Great and God-like Google will take fbb direct (but virtually) to Offnadingen. But it doesn't. The name is not notable enough to be known by the gnomes of Google! Perhaps Regio-Verkehrsverbund Freiburg (Frieburg Regional Transport Authority?) can help.
Indeed it can. RVF's web site offers the usual journey planner which delivers lots of journeys to Offnadingen ...
... far more than the 5 or 6 mentioned later by RC169. But the link to a map reveals the problem.
Frequent buses drop the unwary passenger some distance from the village on the B3 major road, whereas RC169's stop [the other "H"] is somewhat nearer but served infrequently.
But at least we have found the village, un-helped and un-named by Google Maps; and fbb can now plan journeys to the village itself. Thus, a virtual fbb can get off his train, virtually, at a station which, in 1883, used to look like this:-
but now looks like this ...
... electrified but not so pretty; and catch a bus to Offnadingen village.
RC169 continues his comments:-

In earlier times (25 years ago, to be precise) the transport operator was known as Verkehrsgemeinschaft Freiburg. The local authority responsible for Offnadingen has helpfully provided the residents of the village with a route map of public transport services, and has displayed this in a glass case on the outside wall of the 'Rathaus'. 'Rathaus' usually translates to 'town hall', but Offnadingen is very small, and that is not really appropriate, but it would seem now to be a sort of local office of the council. Well, that helpful decision was made 25 years ago, and the same route map is still there todaythe photo was taken on the 5th September 2011. As it's coming up to its 25th anniversary, it seemed only right to celebrate its silver jubilee!
To be fair, no intending passengers would actually wait here, as the 5 or 6 buses that serve Offnadingen each day stop on the Beingener Strasse some 200 metres away (bottom left on strreet maps etc).
Needless to say, there have been a few changes to the network in the ensuing 25 years, so it's not only the name that is out of date!

fbb is guessing that "Ortsverw." on Dorfstrasse, as on the above map, is RC169's mini-rathaus; "ortsverw." being abbreviated from "ortsverwaltung", roughly translated as "local information", i.e. where to find 25-year-old out-of-date bus maps. Sadly, no Google Streetview to confirm or refute  "diese vermutung".

For the record, Bad Krozingen has its fair share of German "pretties" ...
... and, for those whose German is even worse than fbb's "O" level (won in 1959), "Bad" does not imply low quality but is simply the German for "Bath", i.e. a spa town at some time in its history. Likewise, all those sniggering at "Fahrt" ("journey") can go and stand in the corner and miss their morning milk!

And much gratitude to RC169 for revealing that "Vorsprung Durch Technic" does not always apply in supposedly super-efficient Deutschland.

Never mind, back to Newbury tomorrow.

 Next Blog : due Thursday March 2nd 


  1. Thanks for that!

    Yes, Google Maps handling of Offnadingen is not very helpful, as a search for 'Offnadingen' places a marker in the centre of Ehrenkirchen. 'Ehrenkirchen' is really the name of the local council area, which includes Kirchhofen and Ehrenstetten, and the Google Maps marker for Offnadingen is actually between those two villages. The Ehrenkirchen council area does also include Norsingen and Offnadingen, which are a couple of kilometres apart - the setup is similar to the old rural district councils that used to exist in the UK.

    If you search for a specific street in Offnadingen (for example, "offnadingen, dorfstrasse") then the correct location is marked, complete with the postal address which is "79238 Ehrenkirchen". From what I know of the German Post, that is probably correct, but a little confusing for strangers.

    There is, of course, an interesting link to one of your regular 'themes' - that of the inclusion of location names on bus stop descriptions - and this example does demonstrate that the use of street names is more precise, as you have argued on previous occasions.

    You are quite correct about the locations of the bus stops and the mini-Rathaus in Offnadingen, although Ortsverwaltung means local administration, rather than just local information.

    The old station building at Bad Krozingen is actually still standing, although no longer used by the railway. The two photographs show the same platform (the east - northbound - side), but the old building is to the right of the view seen in the modern photograph. The current station building is about 50m from the old one.

  2. Thanks RC169. I have been on tenterhooks since publishing this post; awaiting your ire in response to my multiple errors. Seems that I've done OK. Encouraging for an old codger! Many thanks for your continued interest.

  3. On opensteetmap, however, well mapped.

  4. You didn't need to be on tenterhooks at all!

    I've also noticed you've put a question mark after the translation of "Regio-Verkehrsverbund Freiburg". 'Verbund' actually translates to 'composite' but 'union' makes more sense in this case - so 'regional transport union'. These groupings are generally established by agreement among the relevant parties - local authorities and operators - rather than being imposed from 'on high', though generally all of the operators in an area participate, as the system usually works to their benefit.

    Thanks also to anon for the reference to Openstreetmap - useful to have an alternative to the ubiquity of Google Maps.

    As I was out and about in the area this afternoon, I revisited the site, and I am sure you will all be pleased to know that the map is still in place, now well into its 26th year! There is one minor correction to my own observations, in that there IS a bus stop adjacent to Offnadingen Rathaus, albeit only served by school buses.

    Now, I'll have to see if the Deutsche Bahn journey planner is still giving visitors to one of the clinics in Bad Krozingen the barmy directions that were appearing last year!