Train rides in Germany & Europe

Train rides in Germany & Europe

Train rides in Germany & Europe

The most popular train routes

The advantages of train travel are easily apparent, but what can we see when looking at the figures? Is a train on a domestic or international route able to keep up with plane in terms of travel time, how much does the price differ – and what about their respective CO2 emissions?

These are the most popular routes among our customers:

Example 1: Munich - Berlin

The route from Munich to Berlin is one of the most important train routes in Germany. Comparing trains and planes, the time spent traveling is, as is the case with many other domestic routes, very similar in both cases. Given the numerous advantages of train rides, the train is the clear winner in this case!

Mode of transport Average price Travel time Travel time (total) CO2 emission
Train € 35.40 3:54 h 4:04 h 14 kg
Plane € 97.20 1:15 h 3:52 h 138 kg

Example 2: Hamburg - Bonn

The train ride from Hamburg to Bonn is about an hour longer compared to a flight on the same route – however, the lower average price of train tickets, a higher degree of comfort as well as the savings in CO2 emissions can make up for it.

Mode of transport Average price Travel time Travel time (total) CO2 emission
Train € 26.80 4:42 h 4:52 h 12 kg
Plane € 58.60 1:05 h 3:37 h 120 kg

Example 3: Berlin - Amsterdam

The train travel from Berlin to Hamburg takes about 3 hours longer than a flight. A train ride can be recommended for those who enjoy traveling by train and know how to efficiently use their travel time.

Mode of transport Average price Travel time Travel time (total) CO2 emission
Train € 39.90 6:10 h 6:20 h 17 kg
Plane € 71.90 1:05 h 3:29 h 155 kg
<a id="geschichte">The history of trains in Germany</a>

The history of trains in Germany

4th Millenium B.C.

The invention of the wheel sets the history of trains in motion.


The Greek use ruts to move heavy vehicles and keep them on track more easily. The Romans later worked to further develop this primal form of a train.

16th century

Wooden rails are being laid in mines to move heavy loads easier.

18th century

1750: Cast-iron tracks add more stability to rail transportation.
1769: The invention of the steam engine by James Watt constitutes a major step towards the mechanical propulsion of trains.

19th century

1804: In a Welsh ironworks, the British Richard Trevithick puts a highpressure steam engine on a carriage, thus building the first engine. It was able to pull 5 carts loaded with 10 tons of iron and 70 workers.
1825: On 27 September, the world’s first train route between Stockton and Darlington is opened under the lead of the British engineer George Stephenson. It is 40 kilometres long.
1835: The first German train route is opened. It connects the cites of Nuremberg and Fürth, which lie about 6 kilometres apart.

20th century

1914: World War I breaks out and the national railways are primarily used for military transport.
1920: The 8 former national railways in Germany are brought together under the administration of the newly founded German Reichsbahn („Deutsche Reichsbahn“).
1924: The German Reichsbahn becomes an operating company and renames itself to German State Railroad Company („Deutsche Reichsbahn-Gesellschaft“).
1937: The German State Railroad Company comes under the control of the National Socialist regime and actively participates in the crimes committed during this period (deportations), it is once more called German Reichsbahn.
1945: Following World War II, the German Reichsbahn is taken over by the 4 victorious powers. France, Great Britain, the USA and the Soviet Union respectively set up their own administration for the company.
1949: Federal Republic of Germany: The Bundesbahn is established according to commercial principles, including an executive as well as an administrative board.
1949: German Democratic Republic: The company maintains the name „Reichsbahn“ and is led by the minister of transport.
1990: With the Unification Treaty, Bundesbahn and Reichsbahn become special assets of the German Federal Government. The companies’ chief executives are being charged to align the 2 railway companies in terms of technology and organization.
1994: The Deutsche Bahn AG is established, with its headquarters in Berlin and Heinz Dürr as its first CEO.
1996: With the Regionalization Act, important areas of responsibility in the field of local transportation are being transferred from the Federal Government to its individual states.
1999: „Surf & Rail“ enables online ticket purchases.

21th century

2003: DB’s online presence is being further developed; the discount cards BahnCard 25, 50 and 100 are introduced.
2005: The construction of the main train station in Berlin is in its final stage; Deutsche Bahn expands its offer by introducing „CarSharing“ and „Call a Bike“.
2007: The private railway company Locomore is established.
2009: The private railway company Hamburg-Köln-Express (HKX) is established.
2012: The first HKX train runs on the route between Hamburg-Altona and Cologne’s main train station.
2015: Deutsche Bahn introduces its program „Zukunft Bahn“ to improve the quality of train transportation.
2016: The private railway company Locomore starts operating on the route between Berlin and Stuttgart.
2017 May: Locomore files for insolvency and stops its operations.
2017 August: Flixmobility founds Flixtrain.
2017 October: HKX announces to temporarily stop its operations until December 2017.
2017 November: Flixtrain resumes HKX’s operations with 14 trips between 22.12.2017 and 02.01.2018.
2018 March: Flixmobility announces to run its Flixtrains on the former routes of HKX and Locomore.
2023 (planned): Automatic operation will be introduced in some parts of the German railway network.

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