The German state rail operator Deutsche Bahn has announced that it will resume its long-distance rail connections to all neighbouring countries.
Starting in the last weekend in May, Deutsche Bahn is making a much larger number of services available again. In addition to resuming tourist ICE and IC services, particularly popular ICE city connections will be given more services as well. These are Munich-Dortmund via Nuremberg, Frankfurt and Cologne, Munich-Dortmund via Stuttgart and Cologne, as well as Basel-Dortmund via Karlsruhe and Cologne. Deutsche Bahn will use trains in double-traction formation to double the number of seats.
Furthermore, Deutsche Bahn is increasing its services in regional operations. The average service level is already back up to 95 percent.
“Demand is slowly increasing again. That's a good sign for the entire rail industry and for the environment. Germany needs a broad range of transport services with a strong railway, particularly in the holidays. More capacity also means more space for greater distancing and safe travelling. We're rapidly increasing our tourist services again; we even want to extend them and win over as many passengers for environmentally friendly rail travel for the summer.”
Given the demand, the ICE Sprinter trains between Berlin and Munich are making a comeback. The first one will run on 2 June, a further one is scheduled to run from 14 June. Departing Frankfurt, Stuttgart and Munich, passengers will reach central Berlin particularly quickly.
Deutsche Bahn is making additional trains available to holidaymakers this summer. For the first time there will be an ICE connection between Stuttgart and Binz (on Rügen) via Berlin.
International connections are also being expanded. There will be a direct rail link between Berlin and Innsbruck. From today almost all services between Germany and Austria and Switzerland are up and running again. The first trains between Berlin and Prague are also back on track. Further connections to all neighbouring countries will follow depending on the border circumstances; in mid-June connections to the Netherlands and Poland will resume.
Starting this week Deutsche Bahn is introducing a new capacity display. Customers can check on the website bahn.de and on Deutsche Bahn’s app, DB Navigator, as soon as a long-distance train is more than 50 percent full based on early bookings. The number of reservations will be limited. Trains that are likely to be quite full will have their ticket sales suspended.
Lastly, Deutsche Bahn is investing further into modernising and expanding its fleet. Over the past twelve months the capacity on long-distance routes has increased by around 15,000 seats. By the end of the year this figure is set to rise by a further 13,000 seats.
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