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East German railroad company: faulty design makes cell phones disappear

For several weeks now, Ostdeutsche Eisenbahngesellschaft has been using new trains on RE 1 through Berlin and Brandenburg. These feature a curious faulty design: Cell phones disappear when the seat they’re on folds up into an inaccessible box under the seat. So far, ten cell phones are said to have disappeared in this way.

Inaccessible box under folding seats

There are folding seats on the side of the train in the transit area, which have to be folded down before use and fold back up by themselves at the end. Many people traveling on the trains place their cell phones on their seat or the seat next to them during the trip. However, the trains used on the RE 1 route have a very special design that makes this a big mistake: If the seat with a cell phone lying on it folds up, the device is transported into a box located under the seat that cannot be opened even by the train crew.

One passenger described the incident to the Tagesspiegel as follows: “I was sitting on a folding seat at the disabled toilet. I had put my cell phone next to me on the seat and didn’t think about it when I got up. The seat flipped up and my cell phone slid down through the resulting gap.” A spokeswoman for Siemens Mobility, the company that manufactured the trains, confirmed the incidents to the Tagesspiegel.

There is no quick fix for the problem. Rather, affected people whose cell phones have disappeared on the trains will have to be patient for about six weeks. After six weeks, the trains will be taken to the workshop for maintenance as scheduled. In the course of maintenance, the boxes are opened and the cell phones are brought out.

Further problems with the new trains

However, the curious design under the folding seats is not the only problem with the new trains in service for Ostdeutsche Eisenbahngesellschaft. For example, the toilet, which is actually equipped to be barrier-free, has buttons in positions that cannot be reached while seated. This is a major problem, especially for people who are dependent on a wheelchair.

Simon Lüthje

I am co-founder of this blog and am very interested in everything that has to do with technology, but I also like to play games. I was born in Hamburg, but now I live in Bad Segeberg.

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For several weeks now, Ostdeutsche Eisenbahngesellschaft has been using new trains on RE 1 through Berlin and Brandenburg. These feature a curious faulty design: Cell phones disappear when the seat they’re on folds up into an inaccessible box under the seat. So far, ten cell phones are said to have disappeared in this way. Inaccessible … (Weiterlesen...)

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