ICE Intercity Express Sprinter TrainsICE Intercity Express
The "ICE Sprinter" trains are trains with fewer stops between Germany's major cities running in the morning and evening hours. They are tailored for business travellers or long-distance commuters and are marketed by DB as an alternative to domestic flights. Some of the Sprinter services continue as normal ICE services after reaching their destination. The service is usually half an hour faster than a standard ICE between the same cities.
A reservation was mandatory on the ICE Sprinter until December 2015.
The first Sprinter service was established between Munich and Frankfurt in 1992. Frankfurt-Hamburg followed in 1993 and Cologne-Hamburg in 1994. This service ran as a Metropolitan service between December 1996 and December 2004. In 1998, a Berlin-Frankfurt service was introduced and a service between Cologne and Stuttgart ran between December 2005 and October 2006.
Until December 2006, a morning Sprinter service ran between Frankfurt and Munich (with an intermediate stop at Mannheim), taking 3:25 hours for the journey. This has been since replaced by a normal ICE connection taking only 3:21 hours.
Starting with the December 2017 schedule change, a new Sprinter line links Berlin main station and Munich main station in less than four hours.
As of July 2018, the individual ICE Sprinter lines are:
Locale: Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, Austria, Switzerland and France. Formerly Denmark.
Dates of Operation: 1985-present
Track Gauge: 1,435mm Standard gauge