ICE 2 (Germany)

If you will be taking a journey by these ICE2 trains our guide will tell you all you to need to know, from boarding, to making the most of the journey experience.



ICE 2 trains are always used on the Berlin – Koln/Dusseldorf service, but on this route the only high speed line is that between Berlin and Hannover.

On this route two train units are usually joined together between Berlin and Hamm and the trains then separate, with one unit heading to Koln via Wuppertal and the other heading to Dusseldorf via Dortmund and Essen.

So if you don’t have a reservation, check that you are travelling in the correct part of the train ,the destination info and main calling points of each part of the train are shown on the respective indicators on the gleis (platform/track)..


Reservations are now included when booking 1st class journeys by ICE trains.

However, in 2nd class (and for rail pass users in 1st class and 2nd class) they're available - but optional.
1st class = €5.30
2nd class = €4

They can be added when booking 2nd class tickets, or purchased separately - if you already have a ticket OR a rail pass - either online or at the station at a Reisezentrum ticket desk, or from a DB ticket machine.

'Quiet' and 'Phone' zones are available on ICE 2 trains and when booking 1st class tickets, or making a reservation in 1st or 2nd class, you can choose seats within these 'zones'.

If you have not reserved the availability of seats is NOT guaranteed - if need be walk through the train to find available seats.

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A number ‘1’ by the doors indicates that the coach is 1st class, while a ‘2’ indicates second class.

These numbers are the only indication of whether a coach is 1st class and vice versa and they can be hard to spot on a fast arriving train.

There is also nothing on the exterior of ICE 2 trains to indicate their destination and calling points, so avoid assuming you are boarding the correct train, always confirm the destination on the gleis/platform/track info screens.

The doors won’t open automatically, so you may have to press the green button to the right of the door.

If you haven't reserved seats, a less obvious aspect of travelling by ICE 2 trains is that they have 'Quiet' and 'Phone' zones'
So look out for the signs on the exterior and interior of the trains indicating whether a particular coach has these zones.
You can then either target or avoid seats in these areas.

Finding A Seat:

(i) Reservations are indicated by electronic red text next to seat numbers that show the stations, between which the seat has been reserved.

(ii) Seat numbers that have no text beside them, are available for all or the remainder of the journey.

(iii) You may see 'ggf. freigeben' displayed which indicates that a seat MAY be free, but avoid if possible, as in our experience it usually means that the seat  WON'T be free for the entire journey.

(iv) An unusual feature is that the red text by the seat number, turns itself off 15 mins after the train has departed from the station from which the seat is reserved.

The logic being, is that that if the holder of the reservation doesn’t claim the seat, then passengers without reservations who board at the next station will know that the seat is available.
So if you do have a reservation and are travelling alone, take care to not be absent from your seat when the train calls at stations.

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In the family of ICE trains the ICE 2s are the most conventional, they lack some of the touches that give the ICE 3 trains their wow factor, and that’s partially because all the seats in 1st and 2nd class are open plan.
They are still rather fabulous, bright and comparatively spacious with a smooth ride.

However the POWER SOCKETS are only available at table seats and not at the airline style seats.

The Wi-Fi data usage is also more restricted in 2nd class.

If you haven't reserved, check whether you happen to be sitting in a 'Quiet Zone', if you are the conductor, or your fellow travellers, will ask you not to make or receive calls during your journey.

Only folding bikes can be taken on board ICE 2 trains as hand luggage.

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There is no trolley catering on ICE trains.

If you are travelling 1st or 2nd class you can opt to purchase hot/cold food and drink from the bar/bistro car.

Travelling 1st class:

An attendant will also pass through 1st class taking orders for food and drink to be delivered to your seat – try to avoid confusing them with the conductor who will check the tickets etc.

Be aware that you will be charged for all items that you order at your seat.

If you’re travelling 1st class and are particularly thirsty/hungry, don’t wait for the catering attendant to make their round, go to the bar counter and order in person.

Worth knowing:

On ICE trains glasses and china plates and cups are used and not paper and plastic.
Very classy and probably more eco-friendly too, but take care!
It is not unknown for items to fly off tables when brakes are applied or when trains take corners at high speed.

An overview of train travel in Germany

How to buy tickets for German train journeys

Travelling ON the trains in Germany

Travelling on European daytime trains

Travelling on European overnight trains

International train routes to/from Germany

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Bistro (Hot Food)
Bar (Cold Food)
Double Deck
High Speed
First Class
1 (1.klasse)
Second Class
2 (2.klasse)

Rail passes and reservations

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