Intercity Express (ICE)

Intercity Express (ICE)

  • Region : Europe
  • Type : High Speed Trains
  • Traveller Interest : A Need for speed
  • Introduction / History
  • Accommodation
  • Dining / Lounge
The Intercity Express, or ICE as it is popularly known, is Deutsche Bahn’s (DB) – German Railways’ - high speed train. The ICE trains have managed to slice hours off the journey times between popular destinations such as Hamburg in the far north of the country and Munich nestled in the south. The ICE trains are arguably Europe’s most comfortable and impressive high-speed trains. There are several versions – the ICE1, ICE2 and pointy ICE3 and the tilted diesel version ICE-TD.

ICE operations began in 1991 and the ICE3 was launched in 2000. With a maximum speed of 300 km/h these high-speed trains connect major German cities (and some neighbouring countries). The sleek red and white trains travel with practically no engine noise and pressurized carriages which prevent ear-discomfort. With the latest trains incorporating tilting technology, the top speeds are likely to increase further, whilst maintaining the frequency and reliability of services that make train travel in Germany a real pleasure. 

ICE trains are day-trains. Most carriages (in 1st and 2nd class) have 2 by 2 seating and nearly all trains are non-smoking.  The trains present state-of-the art comfort and special amenities such as in-seat video screens, an integral audio system, plugs for computer notebooks and laptops or telecommunication zones. A few routes have wi-fi on board.  Business people can also use the on-board fax machines and telephones. Public phone booths and luggage lockers are available on board the train.

ICE trains have a restaurant car and a self-service bistro bar at each end of the train. In 1st class, orders are taken by a member of the staff and drinks and food are served at your seat, complete with cutlery and crockery. Meals in both classes are not included in the price of the ticket.

The latest ICE generation ICE 3, ICE T and ICE TD even offer a magnificent panoramic lounge at each end of the train set for a spectacular driver's eye view of the landscape - one end in 1st class and one end in 2nd class.