If you will be taking a journey by these ICE1 trains our guide will tell you all you need to know, from boarding, to making the most of the journey experience.

These trains are the first generation of ICE (Inter City Express) trains, and they travel up to 280 kmh on some of the high speed lines in Germany.

However, between certain cities (Hamburg – Hannover and Stuttgart – Munchen etc) they have to travel on conventional lines.




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 = €5.90
2nd class = €4.50

They can be added when making a booking 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.

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

Back to the menu.


ICE-1 trains are always at least 12 coaches long, so using all the information on the gleis/platform/track, which will tell you on which zone to board each carriage/coach, is recommended.

Some coaches/carriages only have one door, while others have two.
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 ICE1 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.

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.

So if you board a Hamburg – Munchen train at Hamburg Hbf and see Hamburg – Munchen by a seat number, then this seat will be occupied for the entire journey.

However other seats may only be reserved between Wurzburg and Munich, so if you’re travelling from Hamburg to Wurzburg, you can sit in this seat.

(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.

If you want to make use of the restaurant car etc, leave something such as a book on your seat to indicate that it is not free.

Back to the menu.


These trains may be up to 25 years old, but it generally doesn’t show, in recent years they have been refurbished so that they enable travellers to charge their phones etc.

An unusual feature of these trains is that some seats are arranged into compartments with a door to the corridor in both 1st and 2nd class, while others in both classes are in open plan seating saloons.

Travelling With Bikes:

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


They have Wi-Fi access - but data usage can be more restricted in 2nd class.

On international services you may to have log in again to access the Wi-Fi when the train crosses a border.

When available you can access D-Bahn’s Wi-Fi network without having to register and it is free to use.

Back to the menu.


There is no trolley catering on ICE trains.

If you are travelling 1st or 2nd class you can opt to have a meal in the restaurant car.

These are the only type of ICE trains that have restaurant cars, the atmosphere is informal and there is a wide choice of light and full meals.
Prices are comparatively reasonable.

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.

Back to the menu.


If you take an ICE train on one of these routes, you will almost be certainly travelling on an ICE-1 train.

(i) (Kiel) - Hamburg - Hannover - Kassel - Frankfurt (Main) - Frankfurt Airport - Mannheim - Stuttgart

(ii) (Kiel) - Hamburg - Hannover - Kassel - Frankfurt (Main) - Mannheim - Karlsruhe - Baden Baden - Freiburg - Basel - Zurich - (Chur)

(iii) Berlin - Kassel - Frankfurt (Main) - Mannheim - Karlsruhe - Offenburg - Freiburg - Basel - (Olten - Bern - Thun - Spiez - Interlaken)

These trains to Interlaken fit into the Swiss national timetable, so if you will be making a journey between Basel and Interlaken, you may find yourself on an ICE-1 train.

(iv) Berlin - Leipzig - Frankfurt (Main) - Mannheim - Stuttgart - Ulm - Augsburg - Munchen/Munich

(iv) Berlin - Kassel  - Frankfurt Flughagen/Airport

ICE-1 trains are also used fo SOME  trains on these routes:

(i) (Kiel) - Hamburg - Hannover - Kassel - Wurzburg - Nurnberg - Munchen - (Garmisch)

(ii) Hamburg - Bremen - Dortmund - Koln - Koblenz - Mainz - Mannheim - Stuttgart - Ulm - Augsburg - Munchen


Back to the menu.

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

Rail passes and reservations

Close this info panel  

Other features

Close this info panel  


Close this info panel