From Amsterdam to Berlin in less than 6 hours

Plans for Intercity Berlin 2024 and 2025

There are many plans for the upcoming years: new locomotive, new schedules, new carriages, snack caddies.
But the best news: quicker connection to Berlin!

Oscar Labrovic is the director of Intercity Berlin and happily shares with you their plans.

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Faster with Intercity Berlin to Berlin

The news for Intercity Berlin is that the train runs faster from Amsterdam to Berlin. And back again. Travel time goes from 6h20m to 5h52m. That´s nearly half an hour faster!

Oscar explains how this is possible. Three measures have been taken to achieve this:

  1. No more changing locomotives at the border.
    As of 10 December, we will be running a new locomotive that can run in both the Netherlands and Germany. A Vectron locomotive. Therefore changing locomotives will no longer be necessary; the train can simply continue to Bad Bentheim. That makes a huge difference! The switch was necessary because the voltage on the overhead line in Germany is different to that in the Netherlands, so the old Dutch locomotive could not run in Germany.
  2. Tracks at Oldenzaal.
    A stretch of new track and a temporary extra platform have been built at Oldenzaal. The regional train can turn around here and will no longer get in the way of the Intercity Berlin.
  3. Train skips stations.
    In the Netherlands, the train will no longer stop in Almelo. In Germany, we will skip the stations of Stendal, Minden and Bad Oeynhausen.

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Faster travel time

Route New travel time Fsster travel time Header Header
Amsterdam - Berlin 5.52 hrs 33 minutes Content Content
Hilversum - Berlin 5.29 hrs 34 minutes Content Content
Amersfoort - Berlin 5.15 hrs 34 minutes Content Content
Apeldoorn - Berlin 4.49 hrs 35 minutes Content Content
Deventer - Berlin 4.33 hrs 34 minutes Content Content
Hengelo - Berlin 3.59 hrs 28 minutes Content Content
Utrecht - Berlin 5.32 hrs 26 minutes Content Content
Rotterdam - Berlin 6.16 hrs 35 minutes Content Content
Groningen - Berlin 6.02 hrs 32 minutes Content Content

Schedule

Oscar continues, 'The schedule is also going to change. Now we run every uneven hour from 05.00 hrs in summer and 07.00 hrs in winter. This time will be the same all year round. The first train will depart from Amsterdam at 06.00hrs and the last at 18.00 hrs. The last one to depart will then run until Hannover where you can change trains to Berlin.'
So, from 06.00 hrs it's every two hours? 'Yes, from 06.00 hrs every two hours until 18.00 hrs. And back every two hours too. The first one will arrive in Amsterdam at 10.00 hrs and the last one will arrive at 22.00 hrs.
So, that means you have seven outbound trains heading towards Germany. And seven trains from Germany to the Netherlands. Every single day!

'Pre and post'-trains

Intercity Berlin trains are also simply used by passengers who want to travel from Amsterdam to Deventer, for example. To give international travellers space, in busy periods NS plans extra trains that run the same route just before or after Intercity Berlin. These trains do not cross the border: so-called pre or post trains. In the domestic journey planner, the extra train is then shown and the 'real' Intercity Berlin train is not.
Oscar explains that this year these trains will be scheduled again, but with more tailoring: 'Not only will we do this in summer, but also, for example, during the Christmas period and during other busy times. Our international passengers will thus have a better chance of getting a seat.'

Platform signs also a plus

Not yet mentioned are the new platform signs that also show the set-up of the train. This makes it easy to see where on the platform which carriage will stop. The train set-ups will soon change, making it easy to see where our passengers should board.

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No bistro carriage next year

'Next year will be the last time we ride with the current carriages,' Oscar says. 'The bistro coach will retire as early as December. A first-class carriage will replace it. That way, we will have a few more seats on the whole train. There will be another second-class carriage with extra wheelchair spaces and also more spaces for bicycles in some carriages.'
Will tea or coffee no longer be available on the train at all, then? 'Yes they will be! Instead of the bistro carriage, a staff member will come along with drinks and snacks, a snack caddie. The caddie goes throughout the train. You probably get a warm hotdog,' says Oscar, laughing, 'but you will no longer have to walk to get food and drinks.' New carriages will arrive at the end of next year, with once again a bistro car.

Track work

And next year, will there once again be engineering works on the track? 'Yes,' nods Oscar, 'it already starts in the summer. Then there will be major works near Amersfoort and we will drive 44 days on the Hanzelijn, which is the route past Lelystad. Our passengers can then spot large grazers: the heck cattle, red deer and konik horses that live in the Oostvaardersplassen. A nice extra," laughs Oscar.

'In autumn, we cannot cross the border at Bad Bentheim because of works at Oldenzaal,' he continues. 'We have experienced that before and then had to arrange buses on that route. Now that we have the new locomotive, there is also a possibility that we can use the border crossing at Emmerich. That would be ideal! We have asked Deutsche Bahn to investigate if that is feasible. Our train would then travel to Berlin via Duisburg. We hope that will be possibility.'

Even faster to Berlin?

Getting to Berlin within six hours is nice, but can it be done within five? 'Yes, that would be even nicer, of course,' smiles Oscar. 'At the end of next year, in December 2024, we will get new carriages. Talgo coaches. They will be named ICE L. The L is for low floor. The coaches have a low floor, just like our sprinters. They are allowed to run faster than the current carriages, up to 230 km/h. So maybe we can go even faster then!

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