Deutsche Bahn (DB) and its well-known ICE trains will soon be sprinting between Berlin and Munich is less than four hours.
That is a saving of two hours on current timings.
The new and faster schedules take effect from December 10 according to TheLocal.de, and, unlike the situation at Berlin’s ill-fated Brandenburg airport, there is every reason to expect DB’s new services will go ahead as planned.
I say that because the new 107km stretch of high-speed line (through the Thuringian Forest) has already been completed.
And DB operated a trial run last Friday to prove that the three hour 55 minute schedule was feasible.
Initially there will be three “Sprinter” ICE trains every day which will operate between Berlin and Munich in three hour 55 minutes, stopping only at Erfurt and Nuremberg.
Other ICE trains will adopt a more normal stopping pattern with the overall journey time extended to four hours 25 minutes.
No details of pricing are available but one would expect the faster trains to command a premium.
Berliners will welcome the faster trains. Rail links to and from Germany’s capital city (except those from Hamburg/Hanover) and the former West Germany are slow and lengthy which is one reason why Berlin’s two congested airports are booming.
With a journey time of under four hours one would expect a number of business people will defect from the ‘high road.’
On the other hand the bulk of the business market will continue to fly as Munich is a Lufthansa hub airport (and Lufthansa has no mainline international flights from Berlin).