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Automated Baggage Storage at Westbahnhof, Koln

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Brighton, United...
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Automated Baggage Storage at Westbahnhof, Koln

This is NOT the system where you put your stuff into a physical locker but one where it is trundled away into some mechanised storage area run on the lines of an Amazon warehouse.

The machine misbehaved and I could have missed my train. My receipt ticket was accepted and the process of retrieval began. Then the display screen went BLANK. EEK - this was 29 minutes before the departure of my train to Brussels for a Eurostar connection. I should have taken more notice of the malfunction that earlier had swallowed 3 Euros without issuing a ticket; but at the time this seemed trivial.

Human intervention IS possible but depends on you remembering EXACTLY what time you put your luggage IN and which (unimpressive) machine swallowed your ticket without performing the service you've paid for. A search has to be made of the "used" tickets in the machine's innards (a cardboard box).

I am NEVER going to put a ticket into an automated system again without having photographed it first. So much for German efficiency. I'm not ungrateful for the help of a young Deutsche Bahn official but, in retrospect, can't help wondering if his expertise came from regular practice.

WARNING - on my return to the UK, it was not good news to read that there are proposals to introduce such systems to London. Stuff happens; then it spreads.

Brighton, United...
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1. Re: Automated Baggage Storage at Westbahnhof, Koln

If you read my post carefully you will have seen that the machine did NOT work on THIS occasion.

If a traveller has to miss a train or travel without luggage, it seriously affects a holiday.

Childish comments are not helpful. I think my advice to copy the Receipt Ticket IS helpful

and will happily take this issue to the moderators, if you persist.

Karlsruhe, Germany
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for Baden-Wurttemberg
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2. Re: Automated Baggage Storage at Westbahnhof, Koln

Ignore the troll. This is not his first post in this style. Probably a bored kid. There are already summer school holidays in Berlin, it seems.

Sorry to hear about your bad experience, but it seems to have worked out well in the end?

Real lockers have their problems, too - like frequent theft, as thieves make and use copies of the keys.

Brighton, United...
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3. Re: Automated Baggage Storage at Westbahnhof, Koln

YES thanks - it did end well, re-united with my luggage and safely on the train.

There is also a manned faciliity at the Westbahnhof. In future, I would use this for preference.

And recommend others to do the same.

Portland, Oregon USA
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4. Re: Automated Baggage Storage at Westbahnhof, Koln

At the Cologne Hauptbahnhof, I had the same problem when the machine ate the card and didn't return my luggage. And, as listed above, the clerk from the left luggage office had to open the machine and go through the box of cards to try and find the correct one.

There is the option to get a "receipt" when you use the system. Always do so, as it makes getting your luggage back easier, since you'll at least have something after the card disappears.

What I'd like to see, in Cologne, is normal lockers at the Messe/Deutz station.

Munich, Germany
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5. Re: Automated Baggage Storage at Westbahnhof, Koln

This posting is racist. You can't warn others about that stupid language machine without using the term "German efficiency"? In other words, you are holding all Germans responsible for that stupid machine?

By the way, I had the same problem with that stupid machine. But it is not as if there is a choice - if you want to lock your luggage at Cologne, you have to use the machine.

I don't agree with you, though. I don't like the way you phrased your warning!

Edited: 12 July 2014, 16:56
Ruhr Area, Germany
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6. Re: Automated Baggage Storage at Westbahnhof, Koln

Not sure about all the removed posts but I can understand the reaction of the OP. Perhaps his choice of words was somewhat unfortunate, but I can imagine how afraid or even scared and panic someboy might be who isn´t able to get back his luggague - and the time is running and the train too...

And honestly, we often are proud about our "German efficience" and propagate it everywhere :-)) But technic is susceptible to malfunctioning, and this is international, isn´t it :-))

BTW, I hate this kind of luggage stores and always try to avoid it.

Edited: 13 July 2014, 13:07
Brighton, United...
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7. Re: Automated Baggage Storage at Westbahnhof, Koln

"all the removed posts" - actually, only ONE.

I'm sorry if people take it personally when I criticise a MACHINE and I am interested that the praise for the member of the station staff seems to have gone unnoticed. Perhaps the double negative "not ungrateful" is to blame, though this is not a rare turn of phrase.

The young man had to unlock the machine, sort through two handfuls of used receipts and find the correct one in order to rectify the situation. I think he did very well and I said so to him at the time. If the machines are capable of this kind of malfunction, which it seems from some of the replies that they are, I cannot escape the feeling that though the original design may well have been a flawless masterpiece, there remains an element of risk that after a long period of heavy usage the performance (of some of them) can become intermittently degraded no matter how much painstaking maintenance is lavished on them.

As it happens, I AM subject to bouts of sress-related tonsilitis but in this instance, thanks to the helpfulness of the human intervention, the incident provoked nothing worse than some agitated speculation on the difficulty, and COST, involved in cross-continental luggage repatriation.

I think my warning of the potential pitfalls of an automated baggage storage and retrieval system has now been made sufficiently clear; which was the point of the original post.

8. Re: Automated Baggage Storage at Westbahnhof, Koln

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