The rail services in Germany – like in most countries – are provided by a single company that was privatized in 1994, the Deutsche Bahn AG (DB AG). The railway system is subdivided into different zones and associations of transport companies, around Kaiserslautern, you travel with the Verkehrsverbund Rhein-Neckar (VRN).
If you have a smartphone with Internet activated on your network, you can also access all the time-tables and routes anywhere on the go. You can plan your travel with precise information about the bus connections, along with the routes where you must walk or take a taxi to reach a certain destination, with accurate animations provided on the VRN website. The Deutsche Bahn also offers some useful applets and sidebars for free download, which keep you updated with the railway schedules all the time.
You can order tickets online if you have a credit card. If you prefer to buy your ticket at the railway station, you can go to the ticket counter or the ticket machine. Getting on a train without a ticket can be an expensive experience. Please do not forget to buy a ticket first. Tickets are randomly checked by the conductor. The Deutsche Bahn offers different pricing schemes to special groups: People who travel a lot are recommended to buy a Bahncard, groups or families of at least six people can take a Gruppenticket, and people who like traveling at weekends ought to buy a Schönes Wochenende Ticket. If you are traveling within one of the German States you can buy a Länderticket. For detailed information, please refer to the ticket counters at the railway stations, or the Internet. For almost all connections you can choose between faster (and therefore more expensive) connections and slower ones. If you take a highspeed train like the ICE (Inter-City-Express), the IC (Intercity), or the EC (Eurocity), you pay an extra charge. The RB (Regionalbahn), RE (Regionalexpress) as well as the S-Bahn (Schnellbahn) are slower, stop more often, and are less expensive. In the faster trains it is possible to reserve a seat (Sitzplatzreservierung) for an extra charge. You can also choose the class in which you like to travel. In the first class you enjoy more comfort and less stress, but you pay significantly more than in second class. Both first and second class have nonsmoking compartments.