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InterCity Express June 27, 2008

Posted by CK in Miscellaneous, Travel.
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This week I travelled for the first time with the Deutsche Bahn‘s InterCity Express, going from Dortmund to Karlsruhe. The experience was excellent.

Starting from the tickets (ok, this does not have to do with the ICE, but it’s an indication of the German Railway efficiency), when booked we were given a number which represented them uniquely. We went to a random ticket machine next to the university train station (i.e. a random station also :-)), where we entered the number and were given the printed tickets. No need to wait at the central station for them. Cool.

The train left right on time. It was going through the fast route between Cologne and Frankfurt airport, so I actually saw the 300 Kmh (or a bit less than that actually). Even at that speed, there was minimal noise and bumping. It was extremely clean, with many automations and facilities such as power outlets for your laptop etc. The 340 Km (or so) of the route were covered in a total travel time of 3 hours, including the connection at Mannheim and the somewhat long stops at each of the 6 or 7 stations in between. Additionally to the above, the views to the German countryside are so nice; it’s a great opportunity to actually relax and get away from work for a while.

When traveling within Germany, taking the airplane (or even your car) really seems to be suboptimal.

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