Skift Travel News Blog

Short stories and posts about the daily news happenings around the travel industry.

Rail

France and Germany Promise Direct Paris-Berlin Trains From 2024

6 days ago

French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on Sunday unveiled plans for a high-speed train route connecting their respective capitals, Paris and Berlin, beginning next year.

“As a tangible initiative illustrating our will to push forward on decarbonizing our economies and our societies, as well as our cross-border links, we support the deployment of the high-speed train route between Paris and Berlin, as well as the night train liaison, both announced for 2024,” they said in a joint statement. They did not provide additional details, for example which country’s rail operator — France’s SNCF or Germany’s Deutsche Bahn — would operate the planned service.

TGV and ICE trains at Munich station
A French TGV and German ICE train at the Munich station. (Deutsche Bahn)

A direct Paris-Berlin high-speed rail service would eliminate the need for travelers to change trains in either Cologne or Frankfurt. However, as rail blogger Alon Levy noted, without additional infrastructure improvements the new direct service will likely take about the 8 hours in travel, or about the same as the current connecting services.

Flights between Paris and Berlin take roughly 1 hour and 45 minutes, according to Diio by Cirium schedules.

Deutsche Bahn and SNCF operate 24 trains between France and Germany daily, according to the latter’s website. Trains directly connect Paris and other French cities with Frankfurt, Munich, Stuttgart and other German cities.

Rail

Germany to Open New Fast Rail Line Between Munich and Stuttgart

3 months ago

German rail operator Deutsche Bahn will reduce travel times between Munich and Stuttgart to under two hours when a new high-speed rail line opens in December.

The 37-mile (60 kilometer) Wendlingen–Ulm high-speed line will open on December 11, Deutsche Bahn said Thursday. The new line will reduce trip times between Munich and Stuttgart by about 15 minutes, or to as little as 1 hour and 57 minutes based on current schedules.

An ICE test train on the new Wendlingen–Ulm high-speed rail line. (Deutsche Bahn/Volker Emersleben)

The line opening comes as Germany and other European countries encourage rail travel as a way to reduce carbon emissions. Last summer, Germany’s “9 Euro ticket,” as it was called, proved a popular success getting more people to use trains and buses for local and regional journeys. The country will roll out a new $50 (€49) monthly pass in January in response to the popularity of the 9 Euro ticket.

Shifting travelers from planes to trains is another part of Europe’s effort to reduce carbon emissions. As part of that effort, Deutsche Bahn will become the first rail member of a global airline alliance, the Star Alliance, as well as expand its airline partnerships. In France, the government has gone as far as to ban flights on short routes where trains can make the journey in two-and-a-half-hours or less.

Airlines

Deutsche Bahn Is Star Alliance’s First Rail Partner

7 months ago

Travelers eager for easier flight-to-train connections are about to get their wish in Germany. The global airline partnership network Star Alliance and the German rail company Deutsche Bahn are set to unveil a “new intermodal partnership” on July 4.

While details are scant, a media invite to the event said the partnership aims to make it easier for people to travel on joint flight-and-train itineraries. The announcement comes a month after Star CEO Jeffrey Goh hinted at an “intermodal” partner, and suggested that it would be a railroad.

A Deutsche Bahn ICE train at the Frankfurt airport. (dmytrok/Flickr)

Airlines and railroads around the world have taken renewed interest in air-rail partnerships in recent years. Air France, Lufthansa, and Swiss have expanded their tie ups with rail operators in their respective home countries, and Iberia has formed a new partnership with Spanish rail operator Renfe.

Rail

Germany’s Deutsche Bahn to Run More Summer Trains Than in 2019

8 months ago

Germany’s passenger rail operator Deutsche Bahn (DB) will run more long-distance trains this summer than it did before the pandemic in response to strong demand.

DB will offer 20 percent more seats than it did in the summer of 2019, it said Saturday. The increase is both from operating more trains, and from the introduction of more “extra-large” ICE high-speed trains that seat roughly 1,000 passengers each.

(Georg Wagner/DB AG)

The extra long-distance trains come as Germany anticipates record transport ridership this summer under the three-month “9 euro ticket,” or pass, that covers all regional and suburban trains. In May, the head of DB’s long-distance rail division Michael Peterson said ridership that month was roughly 5 percent higher than in 2019.

“This summer, the desire to travel is greater than ever,” Peterson said in a statement Saturday.

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