New night trains and higher prices: Deutsche Bahn releases 2023 timetable

New night trains and higher prices: Deutsche Bahn releases 2023 timetable

German rail operator Deutsche Bahn has released its new timetable for 2023, which will come into effect on December 11, 2022. Alongside extra long-distance routes and night trains connecting German cities with destinations abroad, the new timetable also promises more frequent and faster services on popular routes - but prices are also going up. 

What’s changing with the new Deutsche Bahn timetable from December?

Deutsche Bahn is continuing to invest in new infrastructure and additional connections: from mid-December, passengers will benefit from better connections and shorter journey times between northwest and south Germany, and with destinations abroad. 

In future, passengers will be able to travel between Cologne and Munich twice an hour. Deutsche Bahn is also offering more connections to Frankfurt Airport and, together with its European partner railways, creating more opportunities for travelling abroad by train. 

Here’s an overview of what’s changing with long-distance train travel in Germany come December 11, 2022. 

New Wendlingen-Ulm line to better connect North Rhine-Westphalia and Bavaria

A new high-speed route is opening between Wendlingen and Ulm, reducing the travel time between Stuttgart and Munich by around 15 minutes, while also increasing the number of services between these two cities to 90 per day.

North Rhine-Westphalia and Bavaria will also be better-connected thanks to the extension of the Dortmund / Düsseldorf - Stuttgart ICE line, which will now run via Cologne and Mannheim to Ulm, Augsburg and Munich. Travel time on this new high-speed line will be reduced by almost 15 minutes to 4 hours and 15 minutes. 

Better connections to Frankfurt Airport

Deutsche Bahn is also adding new direct connections to Frankfurt Airport to provide a viable alternative to short-haul flights between different European destinations. For instance, the Basel - Cologne - Dortmund ICE line will now be extended to Hamburg, giving passengers from Münster, Osnabrück and Bremen a direct connection to the biggest airport in Germany. Deutsche Bahn is also adding up to 60 percent more seats on these services. 

New ICE 3neo makes first appearance

From mid-December, the new ICE 3neo train will make its first appearance on the Cologne - Frankfurt, Cologne - Wiesbaden - Mainz, and Cologne - Stuttgart - Munich services. These new ICE trains can travel at speeds of up to 300 kilometres per hour and offer more space for families and luggage. 

Throughout 2023, Deutsche Bahn will add to its fleet of ICE trains. On high-demand lines like the one between Hamburg and Basel, more XXL ICE 4s will be put into action. These 13-car trains are 374 metres long and can hold up to 918 passengers, according to Deutsche Bahn - five times as many as a medium-haul aircraft. 

Extra connections and night trains to destinations in Europe

December will also see the arrival of more connections to other countries in Europe, in particular to Switzerland and Poland. An additional daily return trip will be added between Stuttgart and Zurich and an additional connection between Berlin and Warsaw. 

A new night train line will connect Zurich with Berlin and Prague, taking in other stops in Thuringia, Saxony-Anhalt and Saxony, while the existing Zurich - Hamburg night train will include extra stops in Bruchsal, Heidelberg, Darmstadt, Hanau, Verden and Nienburg. The Munich - Venice / Rijeka / Zagreb / Vienna / Budapest night train will now start in Stuttgart and take in other stops in Bavaria along its route. 

Price increases

Finally, as was already advertised, Deutsche Bahn will increase the price of its tickets from December 11. Long-distance fares are going up by an average of 5 percent, while Flexitickets will cost up to 7 percent more. 

Deutsche Bahn committed to growth

Extensive construction and renovation work will continue unabated in 2023 as Deutsche Bahn continues on its mission to update the entire network. 

Michael Peterson, head of long-distance passenger transport at Deutsche Bahn, said in a press release the company was “taking the next step on the way to the Deutschlandtakt project and clearly setting the course for future growth. Our passengers will benefit directly from the investments in infrastructure and new vehicles. In 2023, for example, our train fleet will grow by three new ICE trains every month.”



Abi Carter

Abi studied History & German at the University of Manchester. She has since worked as a writer, editor and content marketeer, but still has a soft spot for museums, castles...

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