The so-called "ICE-Sprinter" trains are extra fast trains between Germany's major cities running in the morning and evening hours. They are tailored for business travellers or long-distance commuters and are marketed by DB as an alternative to domestic flights. Some of the Sprinter services continue as normal ICE services after reaching their destination. Sprinter trains usually depart around 06:00 for morning services and 18:00 for evening services.
A reservation is mandatory on the ICE-Sprinter (currently €11 in 2nd and €16 in 1st class). In addition to the usual 1st class service (on-seat service, free newspapers like Financial Times Deutschland or Handelsblatt), the 1st class in the Sprinter trains also offers free drinks, an on-seat breakfast or dinner and additional newspapers. In the 2nd class, newspapers are provided in the carriages at no extra cost.
The first Sprinter service was established between Munich and Frankfurt in 1992. Frankfurt-Hamburg followed in 1993 and Cologne-Hamburg in 1994. This service ran as a Metropolitan service between December 1996 and December 2004. In 1998, a Berlin-Frankfurt service was introduced and a service between Cologne and Stuttgart ran between December 2005 and October 2006.
Until December 2006, a morning Sprinter service ran between Frankfurt and Munich (with an intermediate stop at Mannheim), taking 3:25 hours for the journey. This has been since replaced by a normal ICE connection taking only 3:21 hours.
As of January 2010, the individual ICE Sprinter lines are:
|No.||Departure station||Intermediate stops||Destination||Travel time (hh:mm)||Time of day|
|Berlin Ostbf||Berlin Hbf, Berlin-Spandau||Frankfurt (Main) Hbf||3:36
|Frankfurt (Main) Hbf||Berlin-Spandau, Berlin Hbf||Berlin Ostbf||3:37
|1094||Hamburg-Altona||Essen Hbf, Düsseldorf Hbf||Köln Hbf||3:29||Morning|
|1095||Köln Hbf||Düsseldorf Hbf, Duisburg Hbf, Essen Hbf, Hamburg Hbf||Hamburg-Altona||3:29||Morning|
|1097||Hamburg-Altona||Hamburg Hbf, Hannover Hbf||Frankfurt Hbf||3:19||Morning|
(Source: Deutsche Bahn AG)