Altenbeken 2020

Gavin_Hall Nov 25, 2019

  1. Gavin_Hall

    Gavin_Hall New Member

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    Hi there, I wanted to post this as a general message and really, really appreciate any advice and help any one can offer.
    I am seriously considering attending the next Zscale Altenbeken in March 2020 but am not familiar with the event or the place, since it doesn't seem to be in a major city in Germany.

    My research shows that the closest "international" airport is Dortmund.

    My question(s) for the group is that I welcome any advice at all from others who have been to this show.
    - Do you fly in to Dortmund or the local airport?
    - What is the best way to get to Altenbeken from the airport?
    - What is Altenbeken like? i.e. Do I have to book a hotel or do they have Airbnb. Is it okay to spend the entire weekend there, or should I be staying more in a bigger city and making the trip down there during the show?
    - Airfare cost aside, how much would things like train tickets / hotels cost?
    - At the show, should one bring cash or would electronic payment like Visa be accepted?

    Sorry for so many questions!

    Gavin
     
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  2. bostonjim

    bostonjim TrainBoard Member

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    Thanks for asking...we are thinking of attending this year. All good questions. Jim
     
  3. Rio Grande

    Rio Grande TrainBoard Member

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    Don´t think Dortmund is served overseas, Frankfurt is the hub, you might get to Cologne or Hannover. All airports have train stations. Most people stay in Bad Driburg, which is a good 5 miles away. Yes, you can stay all weekend! Register at ZFI, they organize the whole event: https://f.z-freunde-international.de/index.php
    Greetings
    Mattias
     
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  4. minesweeper

    minesweeper TrainBoard Member

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    For train times and fares
    www.db.de
    On the site if you fill as destination the place where you go it will also give you local transportation info.
    Perhaps would be advisable to go to Dusseldorf or Cologne, the first has intercontinental connections, the second is anyway well served by European airlines


    Inviato dal mio BLN-L21 utilizzando Tapatalk
     
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  5. minesweeper

    minesweeper TrainBoard Member

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    Also,
    Bring enough cash, German shopkeepers do not normally like/accept credit cards. A debit card may be working, but being in US $ I would not rely on it for transactions in Europe.
    I had a look at the map. Factor in 2hrs drive from Dusseldorf or Cologne Airport, probably more with the train as you may need to change at least a couple of times (plan at least 20 minutes overlay unless there is a frequent schedule - in some lines train run on a 30 minutes frequency -, German railways infrastructure is saturated by traffic and delays happen more than often).
    If connecting flights in Europe are not a problem, I would try also Hannover or Bremen airport, but being smaller airports flying there is going to be more expensive.
    If I remember well (last time I flew out of Dortmund was 2006), that airport is more or less in the middle of nowhere and served only by a few low cost airlines.
     
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  6. DB_Z

    DB_Z TrainBoard Member

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    I plan to fly to Hannover, stay there and then go to Altenbeken by train as a day trip. I believe that the S5 line goes from the airport, via the Hbf, direct to Altenbeken.
     
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  7. bostonjim

    bostonjim TrainBoard Member

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    Hi, Maurizio, Thanks for all this info. I have never travelled to Germany but have spent time in Italy and Ireland and used our debit cards exclusively without a hitch. Although it was easier to get a deal if you offered cash in some instances. Jim
     
  8. minesweeper

    minesweeper TrainBoard Member

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    Jim,
    then it should work.... but I had issues with my VPAY debit from Italy in some German shops, they use EC/Maestro debit normally. I then had to switch to my German EC debit (most notably at the DB ticket kiosks).
    Unfortunately is too far away from Kaiserslautern where I am currently living for a day trip, otherwise it would have been a good idea for a visit with the kids.
     
  9. bostonjim

    bostonjim TrainBoard Member

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    Maurizio, Good to know. It is still too early to know if we can make it but I am hoping to, otherwise it will be another two years...Have you been before? I am hoping to bring a couple of small portable projects to show others. Is that permissible? Thanks, Jim
     
  10. husafreak

    husafreak TrainBoard Member

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    Is Altenbeken the "one" to see in Germany? I'll see how long it takes a train to go from Frankfurt to there. Out of San Francisco the non stop flights are mostly to Frankfurt or Munich.
     
  11. SJ Z-man

    SJ Z-man TrainBoard Member

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    You can also fly cheaper on Norwegian Air out of Oakland.
    For the US folk, its easiest to fly to Frankfurt but Hamburg and Dusseldorf are also 'non-stops.
    From Frankfurt, the IC or ICE is ~40 minutes to Cologne (Köln), an AWESOME station and the famous Dom cathedral across the street. Then local lines to Altenbeken. Stop at Wuppertal for the historic Schwebe Bahn. From Hamburg, to Hanover then transfer to local lines.

    This is a Z only meet. It's in a school gymnasium but PACKED with vendors (mostly private, non-corp), MANY dioramas and modular layouts. Its sort of a one day show for us. You'll be spending 2 days at Miniatur Wunderland in Hamburg.

    Your US ATM card can be used at virtually all ATM's (GeldBank meaning 'money bank'). You will get the best exchange rate this way. NEVER exchange at airport or train station kiosk, there big % fees and bad exchange rates. Use your ATM/Debit in a machine at the airport.

    Use Booking.com or Kayak.com for your hotels there. Extremely reliable and support.

    Mickie, Matt and I will see you there.
     
  12. husafreak

    husafreak TrainBoard Member

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    Thanks, I’ll jumpseat for basically free out of SFO but obviously that’s just good for me! I like the Lufthansa and UAL non stops. Thanks for the great advice though.
     
  13. minesweeper

    minesweeper TrainBoard Member

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    Since the show is kind of small, I would definitely combine with Miniatur Wunderland, more so as Hamburg is really beautiful.
     
  14. husafreak

    husafreak TrainBoard Member

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    That looks really cool!
     
  15. mdvholland

    mdvholland TrainBoard Member

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    Hi Gavin, from my own experience I can certainly recommend visiting Altenbeken Z weekend. Yes, it is fairly small, but all Z and a very nice and informal atmosphere; it is as Jeff and the others described. And yes, bring cash, debet card or at least VISA/MC. Germany is different from other EU countries in this respect.
    For an impression of the last Z weekend, in 2018 (it is every 2 years), check on youtube for Altenbeken 2018, or any of the previous, even years for that matter.
    E.g.


    Altenbeken itself is rural, pastoral almost. There are plenty options available for staying over and very affordable (I am staying at a guest house, single room and breakfast, 50 euros allin (60 dollars?). But that weekend I think there are already many places booked. Check booking.com or airbnb. You might end up a 10-20 minutes drive / taxi from the Eggelandhalle (the convention centre / sports arena). But I think it is worth consideration.

    Because, contrary to the others, I would recommend staying a night. That way you can train/drive in on saturday morning and arrive at around lunchtime - spent the afternoon and night time (there are some nice and typical places to go and eat a local meal, some where Z-heads meet up) and you could enjoy sundaymorning at the show, picking up your last items, visit the famous Viaduct which is at walking distance (15-20 minutes) from the site (Eggelandhalle).
    For an impression, check:



    By the way, this viaduct is available as a kit from Archistories
    [​IMG]


    There is at some 8 minutes walk a very nice BR44 parked in a residential area as a monument of sorts. Great to go and have a look at:[​IMG]


    As the others said, Cologne (Koln), Frankfurt and Hamburg are must see cities. Altenbeken is a nick in the woods.. but very central in Germany but a bit too far away from airports.
    As for connections, I couldn t tell you what works. We drive in from Holland.

    To close off, yes, of course most people are German, and mostly it is German spoken. But everyone is welcome, english is spoken by many folks, there are Scandinavians, Brits, some Italians, and yes... a couple of Dutchmen :)

    Matt
     
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  16. rray

    rray Staff Member

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    I used to work for a dutch company in Veldhoven, and lived in Eersel then. It was an easy drive from the Eindhoven area to Duisburg then Koln, a day trip I made several times.

    Looking at the map, you could also fly into Amsterdam and take the ICE International train from Amsterdam to Duisburg, another ICE from Duisburg to Bielefeld, and a Bombardier Talent diesel electric from Bielefeld to Altenbeken for 5 glorious hours of train rides!
     
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  17. SJ Z-man

    SJ Z-man TrainBoard Member

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    Rob, this is your year for Altenbaken. Join Mickie & me plus Matt and the Mrs are considering too.
     
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  18. mdvholland

    mdvholland TrainBoard Member

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    Another short video on Altenbeken, with a focus on a Utah-style mrr; english spoken:



    cheers,
    Matt
     
  19. rray

    rray Staff Member

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    I have other plans this spring. My step sister Jamie lives on Kaua'i is getting married, and my step dad and I were invited for a couple months of island hospitality up to the big day. My dad also has 2 stepsons living on the islands, and I'll be hanging out with my old highschool buddy who lives on the big island in Kihei. It's good to be retired and free. :D
     
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  20. Gavin_Hall

    Gavin_Hall New Member

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    Thank you so much for your replies. I really appreciate it. I am seriously considering it but will have to factor in whether or not it would be worthwhile for me as I will be flying there from Asia by myself and specifically for the show. And since I will be there only for the show...(as I will be away from my family), I wonder if it'll be worth it. But still am considering this.

    Thank you again.
     

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