Fotoeins Fotografie

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Berlin Hauptbahnhof, B Hbf, Berlin, Germany, Deutschland,

Germany: 30 years of ICE on the rails (2021)

Above/featured: Berlin Hauptbahnhof – 9 Dec 2015 (6D1). Departing from track 3 is ICE 554 to Köln (front-half) and ICE 544 to Düsseldorf (back-half); trains split in the town of Hamm.

June 2021 marks the 30th anniversary of high-speed Intercity Express (ICE) service on German rail.

In the 1991 vs. 2021 comparison graphic provided by Deutsche Bahn, I’ve marked in green the ICE routes upon which I’ve made dozens of trips since late-2001 (when I moved to Heidelberg). Even after leaving in 2003, frequent annual trips back to Germany meant spending a lot of time planted on express trains across the country. Arriving in Europe mostly meant flying into Frankfurt am Main airport, from which I’d travel:

  • Frankfurt to Berlin, via Kassel
  • Frankfurt to Heidelberg, via Mannheim
  • Frankfurt to Köln
  • Frankfurt to Munich, via Stuttgart
  • Berlin to Frankfurt, via Kassel
  • Berlin to Köln, via Hannover
  • Köln to Berlin, via Hannover
  • Köln to Frankfurt
  • Munich to Frankfurt, via Stuttgart

Over the last few years, the express stretch between Erfurt and Halle/Leipzig has vastly improved the Berlin-Frankfurt and Berlin-Munich routes, cutting the one-way travel time for each route by about one hour. Except for the Erfurt-Halle/Leipzig stretch, I’ve travelled on every “Stundentakt” ICE route (thick red/green in the graphic below).

Intercity Express, Deutsche Bahn, German Rail, Germany, Deutschland

ICE coverage, including recent work on the Erfurt-Halle/Leipzig stretch; graphic courtesy of Deutsche Bahn. My “dozens on ICE” are marked in green; red filled circles indicate cities I frequented the most (B, F, HD, K, M).

Intercity Express, train fleet, Deutsche Bahn, German Rail, Germany, Deutschland

The ICE fleet of trains include vehicles with maximum speeds of over 300 km/h; graphic courtesy of Deutsche Bahn.

Frankfurt am Main Hauptbahnhof, F Hbf, Frankfurt am Main, Hesse, Hessen, Germany, Deutschland,

Morning ICE 5 service from Frankfurt am Main to Basel; how to read this train station signage – 20 May 2016 (6D1).

Hackerbrücke, München, Munich, Bavaria, Bayern, Germany, Deutschland.

Morning light at Munich’s Hackerbrücke station. Foreground: westbound metallic-white ICE train just departing the city’s central station, traveling right to left. Background: red DB regional train approaching central station, from left to right. Photo on 23 Feb 2017 (6D1).

I made three images above with a Canon EOS6D mark1 (6D1). This post appears on Fotoeins Fotografie at fotoeins DOT com as

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