Travel by Rail from Berlin to Cologne

My wife and I went to Germany in late 2021 to visit the Christmas markets. After we toured the markets in Berlin, it was time to travel to visit the Christmas markets in Cologne.

We arrived at Berlin’s Hauptbahnhof (central station) well before our train’s scheduled departure time. It’s better to be early than late… and this gave time for railfanning the busy station.

Train in Berlin's central station

There was a wide variety of passenger trains passing through the station, from double-decker electric-multiple-unit (EMU) trains to locomotive-hauled passenger trains to the famous German ICE trains.

My favourite German passenger trains are the ICE (InterCity Express) trains. These sleek high-speed trains are comfortable to ride on and look great too.

We had booked a ride on ICE 642 to Köln (Cologne), departing at 08:46.

The train below was ICE 279, heading to Basel, Switzerland.

One more locomotive-hauled train passed through before ours arrived.

Finally it was time to get on board.

Riding the ICE Train

View of Berlin's train station from a train
Boarding the ICE

We needed to stow our big suitcases, so we boarded quickly so we could get a spot in the luggage area of the car.

This train had assigned seats. With 2×2 seating, my wife and I could sit together in relative privacy.

View from seats in an ICE train

After we got underway, I wandered through the portion of the train that I could. Because of COVID restrictions, we weren’t allowed to go very far.

The canteen area was closed at 09:03 AM but opened shortly after that.

Canteen area on board the ICE train

The menu was pretty extensive.

Cafe menu onboard an ICE train

A half litre of Coke for 3.5 Euros is a little expensive, but I’ve seen 0.33L for 6 Euros, so… you take what you can get.

We cruised along at a cool 250 km/hr… smooth as silk on the ribbon rail.

It didn’t seem very long before we were rolling across the Hohenzollern bridge, arriving in Cologne.


Crossing the Hohenzollern Bridge in Koln
Crossing the Hohenzollern Bridge in Koln

This bridge crosses the Rhine and is adjacent to the station and the Cologne cathedral.

You’ll be seeing this bridge a lot in a future post.

Cologne's main train station
The Hauptbahnhof in Cologne

More to come…