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Travel On Train IC (Germany)
A DB IC train departs from Koln Hbf

IC (Germany)

Our guide will tell you all you need to know about travelling on German IC trains, from boarding, to making the most of the journey experience.


At a Glance

Travel Pass Supplement

Rail Pass Reservation Fees

Time of Day


Food services available

Bar (sandwiches, snacks, salads)

Accessing the train

Wheelchair Spaces
Train Specification

Attributes of the train

Has a Conductor

Which country these trains operate in.

Travel Passes

On Board

1 (1.klasse)

Power Socket

The power sockets on this train are compatible with standard E.U. two point plugs.


A complimentary WiFi portal is available throughout this train.

Travel summary:
1st class compartment 1st class compartment

Power sockets and Wi-Fi are not available on all of these trains (they tend to be available on the routes to and from Hamburg and Zurich).
When Wi-Fi is available it's only accessible in Germany.

A feature of these trains is that some (or all) of the 1st class seating is usually in compartments with a door to the corridor.

Unlike on the ICE trains, if you have a 1st class ticket there is no at seat catering service available.

2 (2.klasse)

Power Socket

The power sockets on this train are compatible with standard E.U. two point plugs.

Bistro (bar food and take away meals)

This train has a bar car with a counter at which hot food can be ordered along with snacks, sandwiches, salads and hot/cold drinks. These items can then be consumed in the bar car or taken back to your seats.

Close up view of DB IC coaches Close up view of DB IC coaches

IC (Germany) travel guide:

There are now two types of German IC trains operating:

(1) THESE older, but recently refurbished single deck trains and

(2) OTHER brand new double deck 'Twindexx' trains - more info on those trains is HERE

Older and slower than the ICE trains, THESE single deck IC trains were the pride of German railways before the country built high speed lines.

They still snake across the country on long routes, which have no high speed lines, meaning that between some cities they’re still the fastest trains available.


These older IC trains operated by DB are now mainly found on these routes:

(1) Hamburg - Bremen - Osnabruck - Dortmund - Essen - Dusseldorf - Koln - Bonn - Koblenz - Mainz - Frankfurt (Main)
(ICE trains are now being introduced on this route, particularly on services which travel beyond Frankfurt)

(2) Hamburg - Bremen - Osnabruck - Dortmund - Essen - Dusseldorf - Koln - Bonn - Koblenz - Mainz - Mannheim -Heidelberg - Stuttgart
(ICE trains are now being introduced on this route, particularly on services which travel beyond Stuttgart)

(3) Karlsruhe - Stuttgart - Ulm - Augsburg - Munchen

(3) Hamburg - Westerland

(4) Stuttgart - Singen - Schaffhausen - Zurich
(Intercity 2 trains are now used on departures which don't travel beyond Singen & Swiss IC trains are also used on this route)

(5) Hamburg - Rostock - Stralsund

(6) Berlin - Angermunde - Stralsund - Ostseebad Binz


Reservations are now only automatically included when upgrading Flexpreis tickets to 1st class, or when booking Flexpreis Plus tickets for 1st and 2nd class travel.
When purchasing the cheaper Super Sparpreis and Sparpreis tickets for journeys by express train, you can opt to either:

  • travel 2nd class and add a seat reservation for an additional fee of €4.90.
  • book 1st class / upgrade a 2nd class ticket to 1st class and add a seat reservation for an additional fee of €5.90.
    When booking Flexpreis tickets for travel in 2nd class, you can add a seat reservation for an additional fee of €4.90.

If your journey involves more than one IC train, you will only have to pay one reservation fee, as it will cover all the trains you will be taking.

It is also possible to book reservations at a later date separately from the ticket booking, both online or by using DB branded ticket machines at stations.
Although if you do book your reservations later and your journey involves more than one train, you will then have to pay for separate reservations per train.

*Select specific seats

When you opt to reserve, or automatically assigned reservations when booking 1st class Flexpreis tickets/ Flexpreis Plus tickets, DB tends to assign seats randomly.
So if you want your seats to be:

  • by a window or on the aisle
  • adjacent to a luggage rack
  • in a compartment (when available)
  • in a Quiet Zone
  • at a table
    you can select any seats which are still available on the seating plan
    Note that facilities such as compartments and Quiet Zones may be in an entirely different coach / carriage to that in which the seats you have been initially assigned, are located.

Bike spaces must also be reserved prior to boarding.


If you have reserved the destinations between which a seat has been reserved is either;

  • marked above each seat,
  • shown on an electronic strip at the edge of the luggage rack,
  • or shown on a seat diagram on the outside of the compartment to the side of the door.

If you haven’t reserved, check these labels carefully, as many seats will only be reserved for part of the journey, so a 'reserved' seat may actually be available for use between your start end points.
You also need to check which seats are available before entering a compartment.

IC trains can be between five and eleven coaches long, if need be, walk through the train to find available seats.

Managing Luggage:

The luggage space isn’t particularly generous on IC trains.

Luggage has to be placed in the overhead racks, above the seats or in the spaces between seats.

In the compartments the only luggage storage option can be the overhead racks, particularly when the trains are busy.
Luggage cannot be left in corridors outside the compartments.


Not all IC trains departures will have bar/bistro counters that will sell food and drink

So you will be making a long journey it's a good idea to take food and drink on board with you.


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This is one of more than 100 train travel guides available on ShowMeTheJourney, which will make it easier to take the train journeys you want or need to make. As always, all images were captured on trips taken by ShowMeTheJourney.