Onboard the ICE train

by Volker Weber

The ride from Frankfurt Airport to Köln is incredible. This photo was taken (with a Treo 650) from my seat right behind the driver looking through the front window at 300 km/h. The train takes you in one hour fromt the airport into the city of Köln, which is absolutely impossible with a a car. Even if you ignore all speed limits. Running the tracks alongside the Autobahn is a great way of showing the train's superiority. :-)

One guy sitting in front of me whips out his PowerBook and reads Slashdot. He has the EU flag dyed into his hair. The guy next to him has a PC and is still booting up into what turns out to be Kubuntu. On the way back I am sitting next to a person who had Notes R 5 running on his StinkPad. Who says the world is all Microsoft?


Come On Volker, you were traveling in a group :-)

Thorsten Ebers, 2005-05-05

FRA - Cologne 1 hour, OK. Now try to travel from Herdecke to the University of Dortmund, that is from the outskirts to the center of one of the largest agglomerations in Germany. By car, 15 to 20 minutes. By train, depending on a whole range of parameters, one two two hours, late in the evening not at all. I do not see any improvements there while the dream of an "European High Speed Rail Net" largely remains a such while eating incredible amounts of public money.

Haiko Hebig, 2005-05-05

I had the pleasure of taking the ICE from Dusseldorf to Frankfurt along the Rhein Valley, and it was great.

I have also taken the bullet train from London to Paris (2.5 hours total). The train can't go that fast in England because the rails aren't good enough to go that fast - but once you clear the "chunnel" it flies.

I wish the US could come up with a high-quality, dependable rail system. Amtrak just doesn't cut it.

Rocky Oliver, 2005-05-05

The Rhine valley is now served with an IC train (Intercity), while the ICE (Intercity Express)travels on a new track from Frankfurt Airport to Köln. The Rhine valey is by far the more scenic route so you have been lucky to have travelled it. And no, Express does not mean SMB. :-)

Volker Weber, 2005-05-05

Eurostar is a wee bit faster on the UK side now, as they've upgraded some of the track, but I know what you mean Rocky — the fact that we couldn’t keep up with continental Europe in this regard was s source of many wry grins in Britain.

Our rail network has suffered from years of under-funding, and is very old, meaning that it simply can’t take some of the new train designs and their concomitant speeds. A great shame.

Ben Poole, 2005-05-05

Volker, what did you have to book to get THIS seat? First class and a bribe to the reservation desk?

Ragnar Schierholz, 2005-05-09

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