Number of train passengers travelling between Berlin and Munich doubles

The new high-speed line between the capital and Munich was beset by problems when it opened in December. But that hasn’t stopped the passengers flooding in.

Number of train passengers travelling between Berlin and Munich doubles
An ICE high-speed train travels at speeds of up to 300 km/h. Photo: DPA.

“In the first four weeks more than double the number of passengers travelled on our trains between Berlin and Munich in comparison with the same time period last year,” a Deutsche Bahn spokesperson told the Süddeutsche Zeitung (SZ) on Tuesday.

The company believes that the number of passengers who travel on the route will double from 1.8 million in 2017 to 3.6 million this year.

The SZ also reports that teething problems on the €10 billion project have now been ironed out. Problems with the new ETCS signalling system meant that several trains were hit by delays of an hour or more during the first week of regular service on the route.

SEE ALSO: Why the new Berlin-Munich rail line has got off to such a bad start

But DB is now reporting that over 90 percent of trains are arriving on time, considerably higher than the nationwide average of 75 percent punctuality for high-speed trains.

DB considers any train that arrives within 6 minutes of the scheduled time to be on time.

The opening of the new route has bitten a huge chunk out of travelling times between the capital and Munich. Three “Sprinter” trains travel in both directions each day and arrive at their destination in a little under four hours as they stop at only three stations (Halle, Erfurt, Nuremberg) along the way.

Meanwhile regular services, which stop at every station, depart on an hourly basis and take a half hour longer.

There has been some speculation that the new line could put pressure on airlines to reduce ticket prices on the route.

Lufthansa said on Monday though, that passenger numbers had not fallen on its flights between Munich and Berlin. Nonetheless Germany's largest carrier is also facing new competition in the skies from Easyjet, which has offered eleven flights on the Berlin-Munich route since it decided to go into the German domestic market at the end of last year.