A high-speed ICE train heading to Cologne from Basel, Switzerland appeared to be running on time on Sunday for its expectant passengers, waiting on the platform of the stop in Freiburg, just over the German border.
But as the train punctually approached the platform to make its precise 11.57am time slot, travellers were astonished to watch it whizz past them without hesitation, according to local news site Fudder.
They hardly knew what happened before the train station made an announcement, explaining that they’d have to take another train due to the “inexplicable” departure of their train.
Even the train station workers were left scratching their heads over why the train had given the cold shoulder to the historic town of Freiburg.
Much later the answer came from rail operator Deutsche Bahn: the train driver had somehow simply forgotten all about the picturesque university town – which was also his first stop inside Germany.
Those left stranded in Freiburg were offered in exchange the chance to take the next train arriving in one hour, which would require them to transfer to get to Hamburg, however.
At least one group of travellers told Fudder that they couldn’t make it to another train they were supposed to catch in Cologne because of the mishap and had to take a different route to their home in Brussels
Those who were trapped on board the train as it darted past their destination in Freiburg had to get off at the next stop in Offenburg – about 60 km north of Freiburg – and then figure out how to get back on course.
This wasn’t the first time poor Freiburg was overlooked by a forgetful driver. Fudder notes that this was the third such incident in the last ten years.