ICE Intercity Express International Line SegmentsICE Intercity Express
ICE International Line Segments
Some ICE trains also run on services abroad - sometimes diverting from their original lines.
Since December 2006, Stuttgart Hbf and Zürich HB have been connected by a bi-hourly service. This service however has been replaced by a daily Intercity service since March 2010.
The ÖBB in Austria also uses two ICE T trainsets (classified as ÖBB Class 4011) between Wien Westbahnhof, Innsbruck Hauptbahnhof and Bregenz (without stops in Germany), although they do not use tilting technology. Since December 2007 ÖBB and DB offer a bi-hourly connection between Wien Westbf and Frankfurt Hbf. On 12 December 2021 a new Railjet schedule was introduced between Frankfurt and Vienna on a different route via Stuttgart, Ulm, Biberach, Friedrichshafen, Lindau, Bregenz and Innsbruck.
Since June 2007 ICE 3M trains had been running between Frankfurt Hbf and Paris Est via Saarbrücken and Kaiserslautern. Together with the TGV-operated service between Paris Est, Stuttgart Hbf and München Hbf, this ICE line was part of the "LGV Est européenne", also called "Paris-Ostfrankreich-Süddeutschland" (or POS) for short, a pan-European high-speed line between France and Germany. This service has been now replaced by a direct TGV service.
From late 2007, ICE TD trains linked Berlin Hbf with Copenhagen and Aarhus via Hamburg Hbf. These services have been operated since December 2017 by Danish IC3 sets as EuroCity services.
A EuroCity-Express service was introduced between Munich and Zurich in December 2020 with the completion of the electrification of the line in Germany, replacing a EuroCity service. Six pairs of trains run every two hours and are operated by Swiss Federal Railways with Alstom ETR 610 (Astoro) sets.
In addition, ICE Trains to London via the Channel Tunnel are on the horizon. Unique safety and security requirements for the tunnel (such as airport-style checks at stations) as well as hold-ups in the production of the Velaro-D trains to be used on the route have delayed these plans.
ICE Intra-Swiss ICE Trains
To avoid empty runs or excess waits, several services exist that operate exclusively inside Switzerland:
ICE Travel Times
In January 2010, the European railway network was opened to a liberalisation intended to allow greater competition. Both Air France-KLM and Deutsche Bahn have indicated their desire to take advantage of the new laws to run new services via the Channel Tunnel and the High Speed 1 route that terminates at London St Pancras International.
A test run of an ICE train through the Channel Tunnel took place on 19 October 2010. Passenger-carrying ICE trains, however, will have to meet safety requirements in order to transit the Channel Tunnel. Although the requirement for splittable trains was lifted, concerns remain over the shorter length of ICE trainsets, fire safety, and the ICE's distributed power arrangements. There have been suggestions that French interests have advocated stringent enforcement to delay a competitor on the route. Eurostar also recently chose Siemens Velaro-based rolling stock; there were concerns that Alstom (builders of the passenger trains that already use the Tunnel) and the French Government would take the matter to court. n October 2010, the French transport minister suggested that the European Railway Agency (based in France) should arbitrate. After safety rule changes which might permit the use of Siemens Velaro rolling stock, the French government dismissed their delegate to the Channel Tunnel Safety Authority, and brought in a replacement.
In March 2011, a European Rail Agency report authorized trains with distributed traction for use in the Channel Tunnel. This means that the ICE class 407 trains which DB intends to use for its London services will be able to run through the tunnel. In February 2014, however, Deutsche Bahn announced further difficulties with launching the route, and reports make it seem unlikely that service will start anytime this decade.
In June 2018, Deutsche Bahn announced that it was shelving plans to revive a potential London-Frankfurt ICE connection. The service would take around 5 hours and could rival airlines and become the first competitor for Eurostar.
Locale: Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, Austria, Switzerland and France. Formerly Denmark.
Dates of Operation: 1985-present
Track Gauge: 1,435mm Standard gauge