Record number of people in Germany travelling abroad by train

The Local Germany
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Record number of people in Germany travelling abroad by train
Passengers board an ICE train in Frankfurt. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Sebastian Gollnow

International long-distance train travel increased by 30 percent last year compared to the previous record year of 2019, Deutsche Bahn announced on Tuesday.


That means that more than 21 million people in Germany travelled across borders by train in 2022. The share of international travel in Deutsche Bahn’s total long-distance traffic rose by three percentage points, to 16 percent, between 2019 and 2022. 

In the first quarter of this year, the state-owned train company recorded 4.4 million passengers travelling abroad.

READ ALSO: Night trains and faster routes: What you need to know about Deutsche Bahn’s new timetable

"International long-distance traffic is thus not only central for Deutsche Bahn; the strong popularity also stands for Europe growing together through the rail," CEO Richard Lutz said Tuesday.

Around 200 destinations in other European countries can now be reached directly from Germany. Most of the journeys are to neighbouring countries, especially France and Austria.

The connections Frankfurt/Stuttgart-Paris, Frankfurt-Brussels and Frankfurt-Amsterdam are the most used, according to the company.

READ ALSO: Five European cities you can reach in under five hours from Frankfurt

Expansion of multi-country travel

But Deutsche Bahn still has a lot of catching up to do in terms of rail services across several European borders, said the company.

If someone wants to travel from Germany via France to Spain and Portugal, or to Eastern Europe, for example, it can still be strenuous to take the journey by train. 


The timetables are not coordinated, and tickets have to be booked manually with the respective train providers in the different countries.

The situation is somewhat better in the direction of Italy. Austrian Railway also offers night train services there via Germany. 

There are also new nightly direct connections from Berlin via Hamburg to Stockholm offered by Swedish railway companies.

READ ALSO: Berlin to get new night train service to Stockholm

Deutsche Bahn usually cooperates with foreign railway companies on international journeys. For example, both ICE and TGV trains are used in German-French high-speed traffic.


long distance travel - (der) Fernverkehr

Popularity - (der) Zuspruch

To have a lot of catching up to do - (der) Nachholbedarf haben 

Direct connection - ​​(die) Direktverbindung

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