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Reserve a seat on IC/ICE trains

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Canada
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Reserve a seat on IC/ICE trains

I am traveling from Amsterdam to Heidelberg by train with a stop over in Cologne on March 23, 2013, a Saturday. There is an ICE runs direct from Amsterdam to Cologne at 8:04 am. Does the train usually get full at Amsterdam Central? Is reserving a seat recommended? bahn.de site runs a beta version of seat plan, I can see whether I am getting a window seat, but I can not see whether the seat is facing forward, i.e., how do I know which direction the train is traveling? On the second portion of my journey, I am taking IC runs direct between Cologne and Heidelberg using the scenic Rhine route at 16:53 pm. Someone here mentioned that I should sit on the left side of the train to be able to enjoy the view. How do I find out which side the seat is on, when I reserve the seat? Without seat reservation, can one still get a seat with good view at Cologne around the time of the year? Thank you for your advice in advance.

Edited: 29 December 2012, 23:04
Germany
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1. Re: Reserve a seat on IC/ICE trains

On a Saturday as a single traveler reservation is not really a must.

With the ICE 105 from Amsterdam to Cologne coach #31 is the first one.

With the IC 2311 from Cologne to Heidelberg coach #14 is the first one.

You can try to buy one ticket.

http://reiseauskunft.bahn.de/bin/query.exe/en

Start: Amsterdam Centraal

Destination: Heidelberg Hbf

and add Cologne as a stopover for 6 (06:00) hours

Via (1): Köln Hbf (with the stopover duration of 06:00)

This may result in a cheaper ticket overall. And you have to pay only once for the seat reservation (one change of trains is included).

At the ICE 105 in car #31 there was one seat left in the lounge directly behind the driver. I would go for this one - alone for the experience.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OprDdQHuza4

With the IC along the Rhine you don't have to stick to the reserved seat if you can find a better free (= not occupied or not reserved between Cologne and Heidelberg) one. It you move you'll give up however your reserved seat. A seat reservation is only good to take the reserved seat in the first 15 minutes after departure. Than the seat becomes free for anyone.

Edited: 30 December 2012, 01:27
Karlsruhe, Germany
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2. Re: Reserve a seat on IC/ICE trains

You cannot select the direction the seat is facing, nor which side of the train it is. For such a long journey, I would always recommend a seat reservation, though.

Remember that a seat reservation is valid for no longer than 15 minutes after departure. So if you leave your seat to move to another, you cannot claim it back later during the journey if someone else has taken it in the meantime.

Canada
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3. Re: Reserve a seat on IC/ICE trains

Thank you for the quick reply. A follow up question. How on-time reliability with the IC/ICE trains? With the current plan, I get to Heidelberg around 19:40 pm. On my return, I plan to take ICE from Frankfurt to Amsterdam, and get to Amsterdam Central 20:30 pm (daylight saving). Since I do not speak German/Dutch, it gets complicated when it is dark. How often do these trains get seriously delayed, e.g., 2-3 hr behind schedule? Thank you.

Brno, Czech Republic
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4. Re: Reserve a seat on IC/ICE trains

'2-3 hr behind schedule' - it would probably make national news :)

But once I was actually on such a train, many years ago, and they put on a special train for the two of us who were inconvenienced.

Ruhr Area, Germany
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5. Re: Reserve a seat on IC/ICE trains

We often take these trains (from Oberhausen to Amsterdam and back) and well, mostly they are fairly on time. Sometimes there is a delay of some minutes and only a very few times there have been bigger problems, but this was caused either by construction works or by a huge amount of snow - not usual in March:-)) I wouldn´t worry too much.

Edited: 31 December 2012, 09:26
Canada
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6. Re: Reserve a seat on IC/ICE trains

On bahn.de site, I tried to reserved a seat without buying the ticket, since I bought the ticket without reserving the seat a couple of days ago. Now it seems that the option "reserve a seat without buying the ticket" is no longer available :-(. I have heard there is a cool seat right behind the driver on ICE trains. On my return from Frankfurt to Amsterdam, I wonder if it is possible for me to reserve this seat on ICE 122, second class, when I buy my ticket online? The ICE 122 departs from Frankfurt 16:29 pm and arrives in Amsterdam 20:26. With the beta version of seat plan, can I find out which coach is the first? Which seats are right behind the driver? Thank you.

Germany
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7. Re: Reserve a seat on IC/ICE trains

This is because it's an international journey. To buy a seat reservation only is only possible inside Germany. Thus you could buy a seat reservation till Oberhausen and hope that no one reserve exactly your seat from Oberhausen to Amsterdam. The chances are high that you'll be able to stay in this seat.

Between Frankfurt and Cologne the coach #21 (2nd class) is the first car. In Cologne this train changes its travel direction. Here the seating plan of coach #21.

ice-fansite.com/images/…wagen21.jpg

Canada
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8. Re: Reserve a seat on IC/ICE trains

Thank you so much for this quick reply.

Canada
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9. Re: Reserve a seat on IC/ICE trains

A follow up question. If I am taking an earlier train, ICE 124, which leaves Frankfurt 13:29 pm, is the seat plan the same as ICE 122? That is, Coach #21 (2nd class) is the first car? Thank you.

Germany
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10. Re: Reserve a seat on IC/ICE trains

2 x yes