I use trains in Italy and France; some of the trains I use go from Italy to France and viceversa. I have never used a train in Germany. Yet the best ever iPad application to check train schedules, especially when you cross borders is done by Deutsche Bahn, which obviously must access a database of international train schedule that must hardly be proprietary to them; unlike their “competitors” in other countries, however, they realize that people, especially around Europe, may need to cross borders and therefore provide this unique service that had me remove all other train apps from my iPad, as I don’t really need them.
Just about the only thing you cannot do on it (yet) is buy a ticket when you’re not traveling with DB, which is an entirely forgivable sin, methinks. You may say “But if you can’t buy tickets, how do the monetize this app?” Well, sooner or later train markets will be liberalized (ha!) and consumers such as myself are being exposed to the DB brand in a context of relevance and quality; how can this hurt brand perception and, given the opportunity, fail to orient my choices?
I wish SNCF and Ferrovie dello Stato would simply copy it, but I know there’s no chance: too smart!