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Deutsche Bahn's ICE 4 (photo: Siemens)

Deutsche Bahn ups prices, improves long-distance

By adding minimal amounts to fares, the operator says it can add to frequencies on popular long-distance routes.

Rail passengers in Germany can expect a rise in prices this winter, with the cost of long-distance journeys increasing 0.9% when the timetable changes on December 9. But a set of new routes and extra frequencies has also been announced.

On average, tickets at the full ‘flex’ fare will be 1.9% more expensive – but bookings made before December 8 will still be at the old prices, Deutsche Bahn says.

The 0.9% increase is still well below the current inflation rate in Germany, 2.3% in September, the railway operator points out.

The cost of seat reservations, as well as for the Bahncard 25 and Bahncard 50 discount cards, will not change.

However, the extra fee added if a passenger buys a ticket on any of the trains is being significantly hiked, from €12.50 to €19, the news agency DPA reports.

Next-gen ICE
Deutsche Bahn says that the price rises will help it expand its services on popular routes. The number of high-speed trains per day in each direction on the Berlin-Munich ICE route will rise from three to five, some of them with the next-gen ICE 4 train.

Since the new connection opened in December, as many as 3.5 million passengers have travelled between Munich and Berlin, DB claims. The company had forecast 3.6 million journeys for its first year.

From this coming December, an ICE train will run daily between Berlin and Vienna, covering the distance in about eight hours. A sleeper service is planned on the line too. There will also be more direct trains between Düsseldorf and Stuttgart.

From April 2019, the Frankfurt-Cologne-Aachen-Brussels line will run every two hours, and there will also be a new Eurocity connection from Berlin to Wroclaw and Krakow in Poland.

The ICE line between Hannover and Würzburg is being reconstructed, which means that the first section, Hannover-Göttingen, will be closed from June to December next year. Trains will be diverted adding up to 45 minutes to the journey.

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