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Travel On Train DB - SNCF (ICE)
An ICE Velaro D train arrives at Paris Est

DB - SNCF (ICE)

Welcome to the guide to the specific service of high speed ICE trains which travel between Paris and central Germany

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At a Glance

Travel Pass Supplement

Rail Pass Reservation Fees
Reservations

Compulsory
Time of Day

Day
Catering

Food services available

Restaurant
Bistro (bar food and take away meals)
Accessibility

Accessing the train

Wheelchair Spaces
Train Specification

Attributes of the train

High Speed (partial)
Has a Conductor
Country

Which country these trains operate in.

France
Germany
Travel Passes
Eurail
InterRail

On Board

Première/1

Perks
WiFi

A complimentary WiFi portal is available throughout this train.

Power Socket

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

At Seat Catering

According to the time of day of travel, passengers will be able to choose from a menu of catering options, which will then be served at their seats.

A class 1. seating lounge on the 407 variant  of an ICE 3 train A class 1. seating lounge on the 407 variant of an ICE 3 train

Seconde/2

Perks
WiFi

A complimentary WiFi portal is available throughout this train.

Power Socket

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

Close up of the front end of an ICE 407 train Close up of the front end of an ICE 407 train

DB-SNCF (ICE) travel guide

The international high speed train service which crosses the France/Germany border is branded 'Le Reseau DB-SNCF' - it had been branded 'Alleo'.
Though you won't see this branding on the exterior of the trains.

Reflecting the spirit of co-operation French Railways (SNCF) and German Railways (DB) share the provision of the trains.

The German trains used for these services are these ICE 407 trains - which are also known as the ICE Velaro D.
And yes we have taken a diversion into train-speak, but these 407 trains have unique characteristics, which do impact on the travel experience.

Externally they're very similar to other ICE 3 trains, they're part of the same 'family,' but internally they have more common with ICE 2 trains.
That's because virtually all of the seating both in 1st and 2nd class is open plan, apart from the family compartment, - and they don't have the lounges at the end of the trains, which the other ICE 3 trains have.

The other key difference with the ICE 3 trains, is that these trains used on the international DB-SNCF routes, have a restaurant service, where passengers can sit at tables and be served meals.

Routes:

The only 'Le Reseau DB-SNCF' routes on which these ICE trains operate on are the two routes between Paris and Frankfurt (Main) via

  • Strasbourg and Karlsruhe, and
  • via Saarbrucken and Kaiserlauten.
    They share the services on these routes with the French TGV trains.

The French trains used for the service are 'EuroDuplex' trains - international versions of the double decked TGV Duplex train.
Those TGV trains are also used on the other 'Le Reseau DB-SNCF' route: Paris - Strasbourg - Karlsruhe - Stuttgart.

Reservations (& using rail passes):

Seats will automatically be assigned when booking tickets for journeys by these train.

Rail Pass users:

Rail pass users will need to make reservations for international journeys - (no reservations required for journeys between German stations).

Rail pass users also need to reserve for journeys between French stations, but for these journeys the standard TGV reservation fees apply.

Rail pass reservations for these trains are no longer sold online by DB, so the booking options for rail pass users on these trains are:

But if you'll be using an InterRail or Eurail Pass and are happy to change trains and have a longer end-to-end journey, it's possible to avoid these trains when travelling between France and Germany.
From Paris to Berlin, or from Paris to Hamburg, or from Paris to Munich and in the other direction from when travelling to Paris from Berlin, or from Munchen/Munich.

Boarding:

If you have a reservation before arriving on the gleis/platform/voie, check your ticket for the number of the coach in which your reserved seat is located

Then use the info screens on the gleis/platform/voie, to check which zone you should wait in, for easy boarding.
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.

Below these numbers are electronic indicators which show the destination of the train and the main stations it will be calling at.
The doors won’t open automatically so you may have to press the green button.

Catering:

These trains convey restaurant cars where all travellers, regardless of whether you will be travelling with 1st or 2nd class tickets or rail passes, can have meals.
(The TGV trains, which share this DB-SNCF service, don't convey restaurant cars)

If you are travelling 1st or 2nd class you can also opt to purchase hot/cold food and drink from the bar/bistro car and then either consume it in the bistro car or bring it back to your seat.

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.

On board:

There are luggage racks by the doors and in the middle of the 1st class seating saloons.
It can be worth travelling 1st class if you have heavy luggage, as there is more space in which to store it.

Reservations are indicated by red text next to seat numbers, on the edge of the luggage rack that show the stations, between which the seat has been reserved.

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