More trains, shorter travel times – the railway timetable will change from December 11th

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Von: Benjamin Stroka

More connections, new trains and shorter travel times: the timetable change on the railways should bring advantages, especially for NRW. The changes at a glance.

Berlin – The new Deutsche Bahn timetable will come into effect on December 11th. And according to Deutsche Bahn, people in NRW should benefit particularly strongly from the timetable change. The railway promises more and faster connections, both in the south and in the north of Germany. In addition, the new ICE 3neo will also be used in NRW for the first time with the timetable change.

Deutsche Bahn: The most important changes for NRW at a glance – timetable change

Dusseldorf and Cologne:

Travelers from the Rhineland should benefit from the new timetable change, especially when traveling to southern Germany. Because they will go much faster in the future. The reason for this is the new Wendlingen-Ulm high-speed route, which will go into operation with the timetable change on December 11th.

► The Dortmund/Düsseldorf–Cologne Messe/Deutz–Mannheim–Stuttgart ICE line will be extended.

► From Cologne, trains run hourly directly to Ulm, Augsburg and Munich

► Every two hours, the journey time for the Cologne-Stuttgart-Munich route is 4:15 hours

► The ICE currently takes between 4:32 and 4:54 hours on average

► The Cologne-Mannheim-Karlsruhe-Basel ICE line every two hours will be extended to and from Hamburg. The line thus replaces the previous Intercity trains from the Middle Rhine Valley on the Cologne–Hamburg section


Münster also benefits from the timetable change and the Wendlingen–Ulm high-speed route. From December 11 there will be new and faster direct connections to southern Germany in particular and even to Switzerland.

► Trains then run hourly from Münster to Frankfurt Airport and Mannheim and sometimes every two hours to Karlsruhe, Freiburg and Basel

► There are also nine daily direct connections from Münster to Bonn and the Middle Rhine Valley

Solingen, Wuppertal and Hagen:

A lot will also change for travelers in the Bergisches Land, especially in Solingen and Wuppertal, as well as from Hagen. More fast connections to northern and southern Germany are also planned here.

► Starting December 11, ICE trains will run from Solingen, Wuppertal and Hagen to Münster, Osnabrück, Bremen and Hamburg every two hours without changing trains

► In addition, the trains from Solingen, Wuppertal and Hagen will also use the high-speed route to Frankfurt Airport long-distance station, Mannheim, Stuttgart and Munich

Bochum and Dortmund:

There will also be new direct connections for the Ruhr area and especially Bochum and Dortmund. However, a little more patience is required here. The changes there will only come into effect on April 15, 2023. This has to do with the ongoing modernization of Dortmund Central Station.

► From April 15, 2023, ICE trains will run in Bochum every two hours directly to Hamburg, Karlsruhe, Freiburg and Basel.

► In addition, there will be hourly long-distance journeys from Dortmund to and from Hamburg via Münster and new direct connections to the Upper Rhine to Basel every two hours

Minden, Herford, Bielefeld and Gütersloh:

In East Westphalia, late travelers in particular benefit from the timetable change. Because Deutsche Bahn is expanding the Berlin-Cologne ICE connection every evening with an ICE via Minden, Herford, Bielefeld and Gütersloh.

► The ICE departs Berlin every evening at 7:46 p.m. Arrival in East Westphalia, for example, is in Minden at 10:11 p.m. and in Gütersloh at 10:51 p.m. The train arrives in Cologne at 12:56 a.m.


With the timetable change, the ICE from Berlin to Aachen will again have a better connection to the Ruhr area.

► The ICE direct connection from Berlin to Aachen will again run via Dortmund, Bochum and Essen in the future. In addition, the trains leave an hour later. Sunday to Friday departure from Berlin at 3 p.m. Arrival in Aachen is then at 8:52 p.m

From NRW to the North Sea/Sylt:

Large parts of NRW are also to be better connected to the North Sea. This affects trains to Sylt, Ostfriesland, Norddeich Mole, Norderney and Juist.

► In future, a second direct connection to and from Westerland on Sylt will run from Cologne every day all year round, stopping in Düsseldorf, Essen and Münster, among other places. So far, these trains have only run daily seasonally.

► From April 2, 2023 to October 29, 2023, an additional intercity train pair will run between Cologne and East Friesland on Sundays with a new direct connection to Norddeich Mole, to the ferry terminal to Norderney and Juist. The train then also stops in Essen, for example.

Train timetable change: There will soon be new ICE trains in NRW

The ICE 3neo stands on tracks.
From Cologne, the new ICE 3neo will also be used for the first time with the timetable change on December 11th. © DBAG

In addition to the numerous new and faster connections, Deutsche Bahn also promises more comfort and new trains for the timetable change. “The new ICE 3neo will be used for the first time on the Cologne-Rhine/Main high-speed route from December 11, initially several times a day between Cologne and Frankfurt, but also in single journeys on the Cologne-Wiesbaden-Mainz and Dortmund/Cologne-Stuttgart-Munich routes ‘ the train said.

The new ICE train can travel at speeds of up to 300 km/h on the high-speed route. In addition, the ICE 3neo has more doors, more space in the luggage racks, mobile phone-compatible windows, tablet holders and coat hooks on every seat, more space for families, a new lift for passengers with restricted mobility and eight bicycle parking spaces.

In the future, the so-called “XXL-ICE”, ICE4, will be used on the Cologne-Hamburg route every two hours. It offers 918 seats and an additional eight bicycle parking spaces. “Additionally […] Up to eight sprinter or booster trains are now running per day in each direction, with different intermediate stops, sometimes further from/to Bonn,” Deutsche Bahn continues.

Changing the train schedule also means more expensive tickets

But not only the connections and trains will change with the timetable change from December 11th. Deutsche Bahn is also increasing prices for long-distance and regional transport. Saver and super saver prices should remain the same, but the so-called flex price, train ticket without a train connection, will then be around seven percent more expensive. (bs) Fair and independent information about what is happening in Germany & NRW – subscribe to our free 24RHEIN newsletter here.