Berlin to Munich train journeys reducing to 3½ hrs - Germany

Promised upgrades to the ICE rail network

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Editor Bob
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I read in Welt Kompakt last Friday that Deutsche Bahn have promised to reduce the rail travel times between Berlin and Munich to just 3.5 hours.

No further details were given, such as when this would happen or how. But if true it would make travelling by rail a serious alternative to flying between these two cities.

Flights between Munich and Berlin currently take 1:05 hrs. Factor in a 40 minute commute to the airport at either end, plus boarding times and security checks, and door-to-door travel time easily approaches three to four hours.

The current fastest rail times take 5:59 hrs, including one change at Nuremberg. From 10.Dec.2006 this will be reduced to 5:42 hrs due to the opening of a faster connection between Munich and Nuremberg. From the same day, travel times between Munich and Frankfurt will be reduced from 3:31 hrs to just 2:54 hrs. See: ICE-Züge machen Billigfliegern Konkurrenz

Further stretch-by-stretch track improvements are continually being made. These allow the trains to travel at 300Kmh. See: ICE-Strecke Berlin- München über Erfurt wird beschleunigt weitergebaut
Darkknight
Maybe they found an alternative location for the tran$rapid... (One could only hope)
MajorBummer
I'll believe it when I see it. I commuted between Berlin and Munich by train for 2 years before finally moving here and often thought I'd be faster on foot.
MadAxeMurderer
MB must be a fast walker!

I finally got to sit right at the front of the new ICE this morning on my way to Nürnberg. You can read all the instruments in the cockpit, and see the view straight ahead. Childish I know.

The train hit a max of 300.5 km/hr. Which is kind of scary when you're in a dark tunnel.
deep_schismic
Ha! I took an ICE from Augsburg to Berlin recently (and back), and to be frank...it was LAME. The fastest it went was at 200km/h between Berlin and Leipzig..and that was like for about 5-10 minutes...the rest of the time it was crawling long as slow as a RE at like 120-150km/h. Quite disappointing indeed.
Allershausen
How do you know? Were you sat at the front as well, or do they have speedometers in the carriages. I'm not doubting you, I'm just interested.
HEM
Some of the carriages do have a display that sometimes shows the claimed speed.
Gav76
The newer ICE's have displays in the carriages which show the speed inbetween some adverts for DB offers. Can't wait till the Frankfurt connection speeds up, doing it every Monday and Friday the time adds up.
dj_jay_smith
I took the maglev in Shanghai last month.

431 Km/h, round a corner. Now that was fast!

Now the Chineese and building one from Shanghai to another city 170km away, and it will do the trip in about 30 minutes! The plan for it to be finsihed by 2010, although that seems ambitious. Oh, and they have cut the germans out as well!!
Joy
I need to head to Munich from Berlin for a few days. I'm trying to decide if it was worth going by train, at least in one direction. Is the route scenic? Any opinions?
At this moment the prices are not too different for the weekend I have in mind.
I figure it's about 4 hours door-to-door by plane and 6 by train. Is the trip by train worth the extra 2 hours spent on the train?
Thanks!

Joy
Darkknight
Seeing as the trains might be on strike the day you want to leave, perhaps the plane would be a better option.
KofferInBerlin
I need to head to Munich from Berlin for a few days. I'm trying to decide if it was worth going by train, at least in one direction. Is the route scenic? Any opinions?
At this moment the prices are not too different for the weekend I have in mind.
I figure it's about 4 hours door-to-door by plane and 6 by train. Is the trip by train worth the extra 2 hours spent on the train?
The middle part of the route is quite scenic. I like to travel by train at least once over a route just to get a feel for places and their relationships to one-another. Right now though I'd be flying, just to be on the safe side. Wouldn't want to get marooned in Jena on a wet Sunday evening.
Ami in Berlin
Even if the journey time gets close to flying, DB is still a long way from matching Air Berlin's cost of €57 return.
Small Town Boy
Well, one euro short to be precise, since single journeys on the ICE start at €29. By the time you factor in the cost of getting to and from the airports at each end, the train wins on price.

With regards to time; this depends whether you want to spend four hours battling with U-Bahns, queuing up to check in, being searched, hanging around at the gate, cramming yourself into a "seat" on the plane and then sorting out your lost luggage at the other end before enduring a miserable 45-minute journey on the utterly uncomfortable S-Bahn into central Munich; or whether you'd prefer six solid hours in a very comfortable seat where you can use the time to work, read or sleep, with the option to get up and walk around whenever you want. No contest in my book, and in my opinion these short-haul flights need to be taxed out of the sky as soon as possible.
Ami in Berlin
I've never had a problem getting the €57 fare on Air Berlin. But likewise I've never been able to get that ICE Special or the Spar 50 fair with DB. That includes trying to purchase at 8:00 on the day tickets went on sale (with their absurd 3 month limit to advance purchases). So sure, if you can get that €58 train fare, congrats.

You need an advanced degree to figure out all the permutations of the DB pricing structure. I’d prefer to take the train, too, but they’ve effed up my travel plans so many times in the past that I don’t even both looking anymore if I can fly. I’ve been quoted four different prices by four different people for the same journey, and all of those quotes conflicted with what was published in the newspaper advert, and the conductor demanded yet another price (I told him exactly where he could shove his little ticket machine, and that if it was overly painful he could call the Reiseburo in Berlin and complain to them about it).

Meanwhile, I've never had a single problem with Air Berlin, and the check in procedure is pretty quick.

I wish DB was competitive with the airlines, but they just aren’t.
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