Bahn presents a new timetable with more options

As of: September 29, 2023 9:37 a.m

In the future, Deutsche Bahn’s timetable will bring more services between Berlin and North Rhine-Westphalia as well as between Berlin and Munich. The change will initially not change anything in terms of unpunctuality in long-distance transport.

Deutsche Bahn has presented its new timetable: from December, more trains will run between Berlin and North Rhine-Westphalia and between Berlin and Munich. The railway announced today that an additional line between the capital and Cologne will ensure a half-hourly service between Berlin and Hanover. The fault-prone train sharing in Hamm will therefore only be necessary half as often.

The Sprinter ICE then runs every hour between Berlin and Munich. It travels between Berlin and Nuremberg three times a day without stopping, further reducing the travel time on the entire route to around 3 hours and 45 minutes.

Night train offer expanded in Germany

There will also be new offers between Leipzig, Jena and Nuremberg. In the future, five IC connections per day will be offered through the Saale Valley, it was said. So far there has only been one trip each. For the first time, Magdeburg will have a connection to Hamburg as well as more direct connections to Berlin and Rostock. The new timetable applies from December 10th, ticket sales begin on October 11th – also for trips during the Christmas period.

The Austrian Federal Railways (ÖBB) also want to establish a night train between Berlin and Paris that also runs via Brussels. Initially he will be traveling three times a week, then daily from October 2024. Deutsche Bahn discontinued its own night train service six years ago. However, several routes in Germany continued to be operated by ÖBB.

Now the two companies want to expand their cooperation, as they announced at the beginning of September. Further changes to the cross-border long-distance train service are planned. The ICE route between Berlin and Vienna is to be extended to Hamburg. In addition, an ICE train will run every day from Berlin via Frankfurt am Main and Stuttgart to Innsbruck.

Probably higher prices and lasting Unpunctuality

The bad news: The timetable change in December will probably also result in higher prices for long-distance transport for passengers. “Of course, we also have to think about our fares in view of the general price development,” said Michael Peterson, the railway board member responsible for long-distance transport, to the dpa news agency. “We will inform passengers about this in good time in October.”

First of all, nothing will change in terms of the chronic unreliability of long-distance transport. Last year, almost one in three long-distance rail travelers reached their destination at least 15 minutes late. “In 2024, too, we will have to ask our passengers to be a little more patient than they and we would like,” said railway board member Peterson. “But we will begin the general renovation of the rail network next year.” This means step by step improvements to the overloaded infrastructure.

Next year, the modernization of the so-called Riedbahn between Frankfurt and Mannheim will begin the general renovation of dozens of rail corridors by 2030. The sections will be closed for around six months and renewed. The Riedbahn is one of the busiest routes in Europe. The railway therefore expects noticeable improvements in reliability after completion of the construction work there.

Bahn closes important routes in the Ruhr area during holidays

Many travelers in the Ruhr area will have to prepare for massive restrictions in the coming weeks. From this evening onwards, the railway is closing several important connections between the western Ruhr area and the Rhineland due to construction work on a motorway bridge. There are hardly any trains around Duisburg for two weeks.

In local transport, many commuters therefore have to switch to replacement buses; in long-distance transport, trains are diverted over a wide area. This means that significantly fewer ICE trains run in large cities such as Düsseldorf, Essen and Bochum. The railway said this would increase travel time by 20 to 40 minutes. Not a single long-distance train stops in Duisburg, Oberhausen, Mülheim an der Ruhr and at Düsseldorf Airport during the autumn holidays in North Rhine-Westphalia.

The background is the demolition of a bridge at the Kaiserberg motorway junction in Duisburg. The A3 bridge leads over eight railway tracks. While cars and trucks can drive past the construction site in narrowed lanes, rail traffic can no longer do so. At the same time, the railway wants to modernize several routes around Duisburg.

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