A bug in the way cross border tariffs are calculated leaves long distance passengers with a hefty bill if they do not know a trick for booking trains from Germany to Strasbourg. If a passenger changes from a long distance IC or ICE train onto the local train from Offenburg to Strasbourg for the cross border section of the trip, Deutsche Bahn sells only full price tickets, while the cheaper Sparpreis is available as far as Kehl – the last station before the border. For example a Berlin – Kehl ticket is normally €61.90, while Berlin – Strasbourg is €147.80. Strasbourg – Kehl is just 8.1km and costs just €4.30 when bought on its own. This is especially absurd as Strasbourg is the seat of the European Parliament.
What needs to be done: list Strasbourg as a station in the Baden-Württemberg tariff system to allow Sparpreis tickets to be booked easily, without a ticket split in Kehl
European Commission Analysis
In 2018 the European Commission published its “Comprehensive analysis of the existing cross-border rail transport connections and missing links on the internal EU borders”. The main report (74 pages, PDF) summarises the issues, and Annex 3 of the report (384 pages, PDF) analysed every single border.
For the sake of simplicity, I have made a PDF just of the relevant pages of Annex 3 that cover Offenburg-Strasbourg – you can find that PDF here.
Photos from this location