With the ICE 3neo and ICE L, Deutsche Bahn is massively expanding its express train fleet in the coming years. The trains will be used at home and abroad.
Cologne – Deutsche Bahn is upgrading: A total of 73 additional ICE trains are to be put on the rails in the next few years. Deutsche Bahn is using the latest ICE 3neo and ICE L models. By 2030, the two types of express trains will be racing all over Germany – and even beyond. Some new international routes are also planned.
ICE 3neo already on the road in Germany – major route expansion from 2024
- Dortmund/Cologne – Frankfurt Airport – Frankfurt Central Station (since the end of 2022)
- Cologne – Wiesbaden – Mainz (– Frankfurt Hbf)* (since the end of 2022)
- Cologne – Frankfurt Airport – Stuttgart – Munich* (since the end of 2022)
- Frankfurt – Oberhausen – Amsterdam (from 2024)
- Frankfurt – Cologne – Aachen – Brussels (on 2024)
- Berlin – Hamburg
- Berlin – Munich
- Berlin – Hanover – Dortmund – Duisburg – Dusseldorf – Cologne
- *on individual days of the week
Overview of the routes on which the ICE 3neo should run until 2030. © Deutsche Bahn AG
The ICE 3neo has already been on the road on three German connections since the end of 2022. From 2024, the route network will be greatly expanded again. Then there are the international connections to Amsterdam and Brussels. By 2030, a few more will follow within Germany.
The ICE 3neo from Siemens Mobility is, as the name suggests, a modified version of the ICE 3. While the exterior hardly differs, there are some innovations inside. These include tablet holders, special reservation displays or mobile phone-permeable discs. With a top speed of 320 km/h, the new top-of-the-range model from Deutsche Bahn is primarily intended for the German "race tracks". These include, for example, the routes between NRW and Frankfurt and on to/from Munich or between Berlin and Munich.
The ICE 3neo has already been running through Germany since the end of 2022, but only on a few routes. © Deutsche Bahn AG / Stefan Wildhirt
Rail to start with ICE L in October 2024 – planned routes
- Berlin – Hanover – Amsterdam (from October 2024)
- Cologne – Oberstdorf
- Cologne–Westerland (Sylt)
- Berlin–Westerland (Sylt)
- Karlsruhe–Westerland (Sylt)
- Hamburg – Lübeck – Copenhagen
- Nuremberg – Passau – Vienna
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My sectionOverview of the routes on which the ICE L should run until 2030. © Deutsche Bahn AG
The ICE L will be used on significantly more routes. It starts with the connection between Berlin and Amsterdam. By 2030, there will be a number of holiday connections at home and abroad. These include Sylt, Vienna and Copenhagen.
The ICE L is a very special express train of Deutsche Bahn. It differs greatly from the previous ICE models, not only visually, but also technically. It is a so-called "multi-system locomotive" – that is, it is pulled by an extra locomotive. However, this makes cross-border traffic (journeys abroad) much less complicated. As a result, the top speed of a maximum of 230 km/h is also slightly lower.
Talgo's ICE L will not be on German rails until the end of 2024. © Deutsche Bahn AG / Tobias Holzer
Originally, the ICE L was actually planned as an "ECx", which makes sense given the technical characteristics. These are very similar on other IC and EC trains. As an ICE, however, it has one major special feature: it has step-free entry and thus focuses on the highest possible accessibility. This is where the "L" in the name comes from, which stands for "Low Floor".
New ICE generation already in the making
Even though it will still be years before all ICE L and ICE 3neo trains are on the road in Germany, Deutsche Bahn is already working on the development of a new ICE 5 generation. Two high-tech models from Siemens and Alstom serve as models. (os) Fair and independent information about what is happening in Cologne, Düsseldorf and North Rhine-Westphalia – subscribe to our free 24RHEIN newsletter here.