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Stowaway found clinging to outside of train

The Local · 15 Feb 2012, 07:01

Published: 15 Feb 2012 07:01 GMT+01:00

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She immediately pulled the emergency brake and once the train had stopped, she and other train personnel pulled him into a carriage and gave him blankets, under which he fell asleep.

The man – a 26-year-old from the Netherlands told them he was desperate to visit his sick child but did not have enough money for a ticket on the EuroNight train early Tuesday morning.

The BZ newspaper said he had jumped on the running board between the locomotive and the train’s first passenger carriage at Berlin’s main train station and wedged himself into the space.

“The man put himself in acute danger. He was lucky that the railway employee saw him by chance,” a Deutsche Bahn spokesman told the paper.

The train had only been travelling for about half an hour, but in this week’s wintery conditions, with temperatures at minus seven – before wind chill – he was already suffering the first signs of hypothermia.

He was taken off the train at the next stop – Hannover. “Because apart from travelling without a ticket, there was no crime, we took his details and let him go at about 2 a.m.,” the Bahn spokesman said.

Although he was directed to the station’s mission which helps homeless people, he was not seen again.

The night train from Berlin to Amsterdam costs about €140 but tickets can be had for under €40 if bought in advance.

Story continues below…

The Local/mdm

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

10:01 February 15, 2012 by Dizz
If his story was true I feel really sorry for him. As a father I totally emapthise and I hope he made it to see his child.
14:02 February 15, 2012 by raandy
No chance that they would give him a sympathy ride? No, rules are rules and not made to be broken,especially here in this benevolent land.
16:27 February 15, 2012 by catjones
@raandy....where would this country be if everyone who hitched a ride on the outside of a train in the winter were allowed a free ride? What if it spread to Lufthansa or barges on the Rhine? germany would quickly become a chaotic state filled with compassion and individual judgement.
17:43 February 15, 2012 by Englishted

That comment is dripping with irony ,well done.
21:51 February 15, 2012 by wood artist

Given some of the past actions of DB, his treatment was downright humane. They did the right thing...stopping to bring him inside, giving him what they had on hand to help for the moment, and then guiding him towards a "charity" that might be able to provide what he really needs.

In short, a lot of other companies/corporations could learn from this. They "bent" the rules by not fining him...but that was appropriate it seems. I suppose they could have just tossed him off out there where they stopped. I seem to recall they did that with a girl last winter.

I think DB did the right thing here.

01:51 February 16, 2012 by ron1amr
I think the rail authorities did the appropriate thing considering the mans circumstances. A bit like a charitable organization who tend to the needy. What gets me is how does a homeless person father a child and knowing that child is sick. Surely he could get in contact with charitable organisations to arrange to see his child.
01:59 February 16, 2012 by tommy2shoes
I bet that was cold. Why not get there early and pay for a cozy seat......
19:11 February 16, 2012 by raandy
catjones,maybe they could take things on a case by case situation than an overall decree, but we don't need to bring in the milk of human kindness here,

You got me hiding under my bed :-)
19:22 February 16, 2012 by storymann
Why would anybody question the stella reputation of a firm such as DB, they are renowned for and totally committed to their passenger"s safety and comfort.
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