Fotoeins Fotografie

faces of home & place-story

Posts tagged ‘ICE’

Germany: 30 years of ICE on the rails

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, fotoeins.com

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 https://wp.me/p1BIdT-l60.

Deutsche Bahn ICE599, InterCity Express 599, Berlin to Frankfurt, fotoeins.com

Inside out: ICE599 from Berlin to Frankfurt

It’s only been thirty minutes since leaving the nation’s capital. I can’t sit still and chill for the four hours on the I-C-E (eee-sea-aay).

I’m on board Germany’s Inter City Express train 599, from Berlin to Frankfurt1. The information monitor is helpfully providing friendly reminders and relevant details, including the next station and the train’s present speed. The train glides at 200 kilometres per hour with the landscape whizzing by to say “look, you’re moving quickly!” But it feels like I’m standing still.

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“Wir bitten Sie um Ihr Verständnis …”

Over the loudspeakers, a calm, cool, soothing voice fills the tall, wide, spacious spaces of the Berlin Hauptbahnhof (Central Station).  A woman’s voice says:

Meine Damen und Herren, auf Gleis 12, I-C-E 540 nach Köln Hauptbahnhof, planmässige Abfahrt um 2106 Uhr.  Wegen der Schnee, Glatteis, und technischen Störungen, entschuldigen wir uns für die Verspätung, und wir bitten Sie um Ihr Verständnis.

Ladies and gentlemen, on platform 12, InterCityE xpress train 540 to Cologne Central Station, with scheduled departure at 2106.  Due to weather and technical problems, we apologize for the delay, and we ask for your understanding.

Throughout most of December, snow and ice continued to be a thorn in the daily and timely operations of the primary Germany rail operator, Deutsche Bahn.   According to the Deutsche Bahn website, the ICE train from Berlin to Cologne takes a little over 5 hours in good weather-conditions.  On this Boxing Day evening, this train left Berlin about 10 minutes late, and there was a lot of snow along the way between the capital to the Rhine-river region.  I’m sure this train arrived in Cologne at least an hour late at 3am.

Berlin Hauptbahnhof Central Station

I made the photo above on 26 December 2010 with the Canon EOS450D camera and EF 50mm f/1.4 USM lens. Published initially on Posterous, this post now appears on Fotoeins Fotopress at fotoeins.com as http://wp.me/p1BIdT-Q.

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