Deutsche Bahn raising prices, adding new routes

Train travellers can count on more expensive prices this winter: the cost of long-distance journeys will rise by 0.9 percent at the timetable change on December 9th, Deutsche Bahn announced on Thursday.

Deutsche Bahn raising prices, adding new routes
Deutsche Bahn's high-speed ICE trains. Photo: DPA

Tickets at the full price (flex price) will be on average 1.9 percent more expensive in first and second class. The good news it that those who book their trip by December 8th will still travel at the old prices.

The increase of 0.9 percent is still below the current inflation rate, or 2.3 percent in September, the railway stated.

The prices for seat reservations and for the Bahncard 25 and Bahncard 50 discount cards will not change. Yet the extra fee added for buying a ticket on the train will be significantly increased: from 12.50 euros to 19 euros.

Adding new routes

Deutsche Bahn says that the price increases are enabling them to expand their services on the most popular routes. In the future, five instead of three high-speed trains will run each day in each direction on the Berlin-Munich ICE route. In addition, the ICE 4, the latest generation of the high-speed train, is now also running there.

Since the opening of the new connection in December, 3.5 million passengers have already travelled between Munich and Berlin, according to the railway. The company had expected 3.6 million trips for the first year as a whole.

From December, an ICE will also run daily from Berlin to Vienna and back with a travel time of almost eight hours. The railway will also offer more direct connections between Düsseldorf and Stuttgart.

From April 2019, the Frankfurt-Cologne-Aachen-Brussels line will run every two hours. Travellers can also count on a new Eurocity connection from Berlin to Wroclaw and Krakow in Poland.

The ICE line between Hannover-Würzburg is also being reconstructed. The first section, between Hannover-Göttingen, will be completely closed from June to December 2019. Long-distance trains will be diverted and the journey time extended by up to 45 minutes.

Train journeys in regional traffic across the borders of transport associations will cost an average of 1.5 percent more starting in December. About one in five local transport customers is affected. For the others, the tariffs of the transport associations apply.

Member comments

  1. I like to take trains and was hoping to go to from Berlin to Munich for a weekend recently. Yet at Deutsch Bahn’s €300 fare for a 6 hour round-trip versus EasyJet’s €60 for the same it was a no-brainer to fly. Right now, if you wanted to travel on 24.10.2018 and return the next day it would cost €100 on EasyJet (with a hold bag) and with Deutsch Bahn, €260. Who chooses to pay these ridiculous prices, I don’t understand!

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How to navigate the Deutsche Bahn train strikes in your region of Germany

A standoff between the GDL train drivers’ union and Deutsche Bahn means that rail services will be crippled nationwide in Germany for five days. Here’s the information you need to navigate the strikes in your region.

How to navigate the Deutsche Bahn train strikes in your region of Germany
Berlin central station on Thursday morning. Photo: dpa | Paul Zinken

Deutsche Bahn is encouraging travellers to download the DB Navigator app and to use it immediately before they travel in order to see which services are currently running.

There is some information in English but the detailed lists of which lines are still running are in German. We provide links here to those pages and a brief overview of the main lines that have been affected. (tip: if it says Linie eingestellt, trains aren’t running on that line. 20-Minuten Takt means they’re running every 20 minutes).

SEE ALSO: What you need to know about the German rail strikes


In the capital, S-Bahn services and regional train services have been severely impacted by the strike but the U-Bahn is not run by Deutsche Bahn so is running normally. That means that trying to get around by bus and U-Bahn (both run by BVG) should help you avoid the strikes.

If you’re happy to do plan ahead, there are still some S-Bahn services running. This website (in German) details which lines have been completely closed and which ones still run a train every 20 minutes.

In terms of the key lines: the Ringbahn is not running at all in either direction. Nor is the north-south S26 line, the S45 to the airport (the S9 to BER is still running), and the S75 from Wartemberg in the north-east into the city.

All other S-Bahn lines are running every 20 minutes with the exception of the S8 which is running every 40 mins. Not all of them are doing the full route though.

You can plug your journey into this English page run by Deutsche Bahn and it will show you how to best avoid the strike action.

In terms of regional trains to and from satellite towns, there is a detailed list of which lines have been completely halted for the strike and which have a form of replacement service.

The following lines are not running at all: FEX, RB10, – RB11, RB13, RB20, RB21, RB22, RB23, RB31, RB49, RB55, RE/RB66

Other lines connecting Magdeburg, Dessau, Eberswalde, Stralsund, Rostock and Cottbus with the capital are running reduced services.


The German finance capital is also seriously affected by strikes on both its S-Bahn and regional services.

A full list of the lines that are not running reduced services can be found in German here.

Be careful to check for updates, as the page is updated every day at 11 am for the following day. 

Here are the current services for Thursday and Friday: The S2, S4, S7 and S9 are not running at all. Other lines are running on basic services but often only every hour.


A large number of regional and S-Bahn services in the west of the country have been completely stopped. These include the RE8 over Mönchengladbach, Cologne and Bonn, the RE9 between Aachen, Cologne and Siegen, and the RB33 between Essen and Aachen.

The S4 through Dortmund, the S8 through Düsseldorf and the S68 to Wuppertal have also been completely stopped. See here for further details.

Updates will be posted daily at 10:30am on the website.


In Munich, a replacement S-Bahn timetable has been put in place for the duration of the strikes, with long delays expected on most lines.

The S1, which normally runs between the city and the airport, will be running every 20-40 minutes, but won’t go as far as the airport. The S2, S3, S4 and S6 will equally be running a partial service every 20-40 minutes and won’t stop at all stations. 

The S7 will only be running on an hourly basis, while the S8 will be running every 20 minutes between Pasing and the airport, and will also be running every 40-60 minutes to stations further along the line.

The S20 will not be running at all during the strike.

DB has not yet published a detailed list available of which regional trains have been affected in Bavaria, but cross-border services into Austria, Italy and Hungary and likely to be heavily impacted.

However DB say that they will update the travel planner website for Bavaria every day at 12:00 for the following day. You can plug your departure point and destination into that site here or check for general travel updates on here.

Other areas of the country

Various other parts of the are facing impediments to travel due to the strike. The east of the country is particularly affected. For an exhaustive list of all of the regions of the country where lines are not running according to schedule you can peruse this web page (in German).

READ ALSO: Germany’s train strikes: What rights do you have as a passenger?