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ICE High speed train punctuality?

  • 28 April 2024
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I am traveling with my family to Italy with Interrail passes on the 24th of May this year. One of our legs is the high speed ICE train from Hamburg Hbf to Munich Hbf. Unlike the other legs on our journey, this one has worried me a lot. Partly because of the track work happening between Göttingen and Kassel, but also the allegedly alarming rates of delay this particular route, somtimes up to over 100 minutes. It is also an overnight train. We have another train to catch in Munich, going to Venice, but if the high speed train arrives on time, we have 90 minutes to spare before the next connection.

Has someone had any experience with this route before and if yes, should I be concerned about this?

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Best answer by thibcabe 28 April 2024, 12:31

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Delays are frequent but 90 min margin is good enough. There are always later trains in case too.

Since you won't sleep on the overnight ICE (lights are fully on, you have to watch your luggage at all times, etc.) let me suggest the Hamburg - Innsbruck night train. It is convenient and brand new!

For example:

- NJ Hamburg Hbf - Innsbruck Hbf 20:10 - 09:14 (+ delay) 214.60€ for a 4 people compartment

- EC Innsbruck Hbf - Verona Porta Nuova 11:24 - 14:58 10€ passholder supplement + 3€ reservation

- frequent reservation-free regional train to Venice

I understand that you want to save money/time with the night ICE but it won't be a pleasant experience, let me warn you.

I am traveling with my family to Italy with Interrail passes on the 24th of May this year. One of our legs is the high speed ICE train from Hamburg Hbf to Munich Hbf. Unlike the other legs on our journey, this one has worried me a lot. Partly because of the track work happening between Göttingen and Kassel, but also the allegedly alarming rates of delay this particular route, somtimes up to over 100 minutes. It is also an overnight train. We have another train to catch in Munich, going to Venice, but if the high speed train arrives on time, we have 90 minutes to spare before the next connection.

Has someone had any experience with this route before and if yes, should I be concerned about this?

Don't worry too much! While delays can happen, especially with track work, it's not guaranteed. Plan for contingencies, but enjoy your journey and the adventure.

I understand that it would be a lot more comfortable to take the ÖBB Nightjet and I did do research beforehand on the route from Hamburg to Innsbruck. When I told my parents about this suggestion though, they thought it was too expensive, even if we split the amount evenly up, and they were not comfortable with sleeping among strangers in a compartment. Since getting a private compartment costs even more, Therefore, I had to choose the next best thing which was the ICE.

Now, I’m fine with sleeping in seats. I have done an 18+ hour overnight journey from Stockholm to Narvik with earplugs, in a compartment filled with crying babies, barking dogs and loud screeching from open windows, but I slept well, nonetheless.

Also, I forgot to mention that we have 1st class Interrail passes and have booked seats in the 1st class quiet car on the ICE. The only thing I was concerned about was the delay.

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