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Which ICE trains need compulsory reservation?

Which ICE trains need compulsory reservation?

May 26th, 2012, 09:42 AM
  #1  
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Which ICE trains need compulsory reservation?

I thought ICE Sprinter trains that travel entirely in Germany, such as Berlin-Frankfurt require compulsory reservation. But looking at bahn.hafas.de, for example, 9:34 Berlin departure ICE597 does not mention compulsory reservation. Some later trains mention about "voraussichtlich starke Nachfrage," which seem to mean while the reservation is not compulsory, it is recommended to make a seat reservation to assure a seat.

Are there really ICE trains requiring compulsory reservations? If so, how do they appear in the bahn.hafas.de listing so I can recognize one when I see it?
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May 26th, 2012, 09:58 AM
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People get on them all the time without a seat reservation; on busy days I've seen people standing and sitting in the aisles.
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May 26th, 2012, 10:15 AM
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on the bahn.de site you will be very plainly informed if a train has a compulsory reservation status
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Jul 4th, 2012, 11:50 AM
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After staring at the DB site, I finally figure out this ICE Sprinter thing.

1. Majority of ICE are NOT this type.
2. Even the main route, Frankfurt HBF - Berlin HBF, there are only TWO ICE Sprinter a day, ICE1092 6:14-9:52 and ICE1090 18:13-21:48 are the only two in this direction on 7/5 out of about 10 ICE direct trains, with mandatory reservation noted by solid "R" symbol with higher price and shorter travel time. All other ICE trains even for Frankfurt-Berlin don't require reservation. There are a few others with non-solid "R" where the reservation is suggested.
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Jul 4th, 2012, 11:54 AM
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Yup very very few ICE Sprinter trains - mainly for business types who want to leave early in teh day and return in early evening - marginally faster I think because they may not stop as much. the average traveler who rarely encounter one and would never need to take one as they are plenty of alternatives perhaps a tad slower. Not sure if onboard facilities are spiffier to suit business class clientele these trains I understand are aimed at.
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Jul 4th, 2012, 03:20 PM
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There are all in all seven ICE Sprinter trains per day on three routes. Seven among hundreds of long distance trains. These can easily be avoided. All other ICE trains do not require reservation.
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Jul 5th, 2012, 08:36 AM
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IME reservations may be advised in 2nd class on ICE trains as you never know when they may be full - yeh you can always board and wait to the next station, etc. but at times many seats will also be reserved down the line.

First class I have never ever not found empty seats. but in 2nd class pay the few euros for a seat reservation, esp if you want a window or aisle seat. www.bahn.de indicates when reservations are advised on various trains.
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Jul 5th, 2012, 08:44 AM
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Unlike Pal, I have, in fact, been on more than one ICE and there were people sitting in the aisles because they didn't have a reservation and this was in First Class.

But you have to understand that in these instances it was always the end of the work day and a lot of the people looked to be those traveling home; lots of business type folks.
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Jul 5th, 2012, 12:54 PM
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I think German trains are more and more using the idea of not running empty seats around like they used to and more and more, with help on online discounts, making sure more seats are full - I have not been on an ICE in a few years and the situation may well have changed. But even back a few years ago I can recall many times when there were ample empty seats in first class and many times when 2nd class was SRO - even on regional trains as they act also as school buses and swarms of kids can swarm aboard making 2nd class a zoo. I am always thankful I have a first class railpass, for which being over 25 I have no choice but to have otherwise I probably would also be in the mobs in 2nd class.
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Jul 6th, 2012, 01:14 PM
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There are all in all seven ICE Sprinter trains per day on three routes. Seven among hundreds of long distance trains. These can easily be avoided. All other ICE trains do not require reservation.>

quokka - is there any different onboard between Sprinters and regular ICEs or is it just they are marginally faster - I assume what I find on board is exactly the same with each. Perhaps you have never ridden an ICE Sprinter as would have little occasion to but just wondering if anyone knows what is the difference, if any besides being a little quicker? I suppose they have a reservation requirement because for business types they do not want SRO and folks standing in cars as can happen at times on ICEs where anyone who has a valid ticket can board (or even without as the conductor I think then sells them a ticket).
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Jul 6th, 2012, 01:41 PM
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I have never ridden an ICE Sprinter, only seen them in stations - they are ICE trains like any other. I avoid them because of the high (IMHO overpriced) surcharges. They don't stop as often as standard ICEs, hence the shorter travel time. They offer more service on board, in first class even meals. These trains are mostly meant for business travellers who would otherwise take the plane.
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Jul 7th, 2012, 08:53 AM
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thanks quokka for the info - confirming what I had thought to be the case but was not sure - I incessantly sit on station platforms in Germany just watching trains roll by and will try to catch an ICE Sprinter - do not recall having seem one before or realizing it. I assume they have ICE Sprinter plastered on the outside and not just the usual ICE logo.
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Jul 7th, 2012, 11:58 AM
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> I assume they have ICE Sprinter plastered on the outside and not just the usual ICE logo.

Probably not, because the same trains then run on regular routes during the day. The "Sprinter" title will be in the electronic display by the door and it will be on the timetable board above the platform.
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Jul 7th, 2012, 12:28 PM
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What puzzled me was just how difficult it was to find an ICE Sprinter as mentioned in http://www.bahn.de/p/view/service/zu...sprinter.shtml

In UK, Spain, France, Italy, if you are dealing with Eurostar, AVE, TGV, ES of some kind, irrespective of the route or the time of day, a reservation is compulsory.

This is not the case for ICE. Only ICE on specific route at specific time require compulsory reservation. It was not that I was looking for one, I wanted to make sure if I end up riding an ICE, I wanted to make sure whether the reservation was compulsory or not on a particular train. The DB article above does not give sense of this "limitedness" of this offering. RS says "rare Berlin-Frankfurt ICE Sprinter" but not sure what is rare about it. I originally interpreted the "route" being a "rare route" requiring compulsory reservation.

Wouldn't those who thought ICE never needed reservation because all ICEs they might have taken were not Sprinters be hit with a surprise if they hop into one of these Sprinters with a railpass thinking all ICEs were the same?
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Jul 7th, 2012, 03:09 PM
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What can possibly happen? Maybe a stern explanation that you need a reservation and then everybody remembers that the sprinter from Frankfurt to Berlin doesn't stop in between. They can't ask you to leave, only demand a surcharge for using the train.

I'd just go to the dining car and sit down there.

It's more problematic if you think that it's the normal ICE train and you can get out in an hour. Happened to a friend of mine and he ended up spending a night in Berlin
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Jul 9th, 2012, 10:05 AM
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The conductor would no doubt charge you, a railpass holders, the reservation fee/supplement once on board plus a possible penalty for buying on board (not sure case in Geramny but often in other countries there is a penalty charged for buying tickets on board, which is possible in say France last I knew on non-TGV trains at least.
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