More Sprinter Trains: An Alternative to Flying?

Status: 07.10.2021 11:03 a.m

With additional Sprinter connections on selected routes, Deutsche Bahn wants to make domestic flights less attractive with its new timetable. However, the group also raises prices.

From 2022, Deutsche Bahn will offer a “fast and environmentally friendly alternative to air travel” on eight of the ten busiest domestic routes in Germany. The new train timetable is valid from December 12th, tickets are available from October 13th.

In the future, sprinters will travel between Berlin and Cologne three times a day in under four hours, up to half an hour faster than before. It will also be faster on the Düsseldorf-Cologne-Munich route and in the morning from Hamburg to Frankfurt Airport. Between Berlin and Munich there should be new sprinters in the evening.

Business customers should be addressed

With the “new Sprinter connections at the end of the day,” Deutsche Bahn is also trying to attract business customers. This makes it possible “to keep appointments earlier in the morning and to be home again in the evening”. In order to cope with the increasing number of passengers, the company also wants to use more ICE 4s in the coming year, which can transport 918 passengers. The IC is to be gradually replaced. The XXL ICE can “carry five times as many people as a medium-haul aircraft,” advertises the railway.

The Dortmund/Münster-Siegen-Frankfurt/Main long-distance line is new to the 2022 timetable. Double-decker Intercity trains are to run there. On other connections, ICE trains replace the Intercity trains, for example on the Frankfurt/Karlsruhe-Stuttgart-Ulm-Munich route. “We want even more rail in the area of ​​Germany,” said long-distance rail transport chief Michael Peterson.

The prices are rising

With the new timetable, Deutsche Bahn is also increasing prices. As the group had already announced at the beginning of the month, they will increase by an average of 1.9 percent in long-distance traffic when the timetable changes. Train passengers also have to be prepared for higher fares in regional transport. For journeys outside of transport associations, an average of around 1.7 percent more will be due from December 12, as the tariff association of federal and non-federal railways in Germany (TBNE) announced yesterday. In addition to Deutsche Bahn, this includes its competitors Abellio, Benex, National Express, Netinera and Transdev.

The price increase affects around 20 percent of journeys in regional transport, otherwise the tariff of the regional transport associations applies. The first increases have also been announced there, for example by an average of 1.5 percent in Rhein-Main and by an average of 3.7 percent in Munich.