Bonn From December, there are to be three high-speed rail connections daily from Bonn to Berlin. Only one more stop is planned on the route. Here's how the new ICE Sprinter will travel to the capital.
Deutsche Bahn is strengthening its long-distance service between Bonn and Berlin, creating an alternative to air travel between the two government sessions. According to Oliver Krauß (CDU), a member of the state parliament from Alfter, Deutsche Bahn has now presented its plans for the already announced Sprinter connection between Bonn and Berlin to the transport committee of the North Rhine-Westphalian state parliament. The introduction is planned for the timetable change in December.
According to the plan, high-speed ICE trains with up to 450 seats will travel from the Rhineland to Berlin three times a day (in the morning, at midday and in the evening) starting in December. After departing from Bonn, the train is to stop only in Cologne and then travel to Berlin without making any further stops.
Part of a grand plan
"Between Bonn and Berlin, the one-way trip will take four hours and 25 minutes," Krauß said. Between Cologne and Berlin, he said, the journey time is just under four hours, which means a total time saving of 25 minutes compared with the current regular ICE service.
The new high-speed connection is part of a joint action plan by the German Air Transport Association and Deutsche Bahn. The goals are to strengthen the links between rail and air and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the transport sector.
The plan includes more feeder trains to international flights, easier transfers between flights and trains, and faster train connections between major cities, which includes the Bonn/Cologne-Berlin route.
Bonn-Cologne route already overloaded
"A fast train connection between the two cities which have government functions is an important prerequisite for a functioning distribution of tasks," says Krauß, who says he had already approached Deutsche Bahn in January 2018 in a joint letter with other CDU state and federal parliament members from the Cologne/Bonn/Rhine-Sieg region regarding such a fast connection.
"The Sprinter connection will be provided on-top, which means that it will supplement the existing service without reducing other services in return," Krauß continued. "It is also important for us that the new trains do not lead to local passenger services being affected."
Indeed, getting the Sprinters on the rails between Bonn and Cologne is likely to be a challenge for the railroad. The line is already considered congested by a large number of local, long-distance and freight trains. (Original text: Christoph Meurer / Translation: Mareike Graepel)