Crowdfunded Train Service Takes On German Rail Giant
FRANKFURT AM MAIN, , (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News, app - 14th Dec, 2016 ) - With a single 1970s train in orange livery and a little crowdfunding help, a plucky Berlin start-up is challenging the might of Germany's state rail operator, Deutsche Bahn.
At 6:20 am (0520 GMT) on Wednesday, the first Locomore train will leave Stuttgart in Germany's southwest, pass through Frankfurt and Hanover and pull into Berlin, its final destination, some six and a half hours later.
With just one return service a day to start with, compared to the over 700 daily long-distance journeys run by Deutsche Bahn, Locomore founder and director Derek Ladewig knows he barely qualifies as a rival.
But he is hoping to win over Deutsche Bahn customers with budget ticket prices and lure environmentally-conscious travellers from more polluting forms of transport. "We are offering a new service to compete with the car, the plane, the long-distance bus as well as Deutsche Bahn," Ladewig told AFP.
Locomore, which bills itself as the world's first crowdfunded train line, owes its start-up capital entirely to online supporters who chipped in more than 600,000 euros ($640,000) in less than a year to get the project on the rails.
Many of the contributors bought vouchers that can now be traded for tickets, as well as souvenirs such as mugs and T-shirts in the firm's distinctive orange hue -- a nod to the vintage origins of Locomore's renovated carriages from the 1970s.