The event was attended by Germany's federal transport minister Mr Alexander Dobrindt, DB's CEO Dr Rüdiger Grube, and Ms Birgit Bohle, chair of DB's long-distance passenger division.


"The ICE is a brand that everyone knows in Germany and is recognised worldwide," Dobrindt said. "I congratulate ICE on its 25th anniversary. The new ICE-generation will naturally have Wi-Fi on board. The existing ICE fleet this year will also be upgraded with WLAN, in all classes."

"ICE 1 in 1991 ushered in high-speed rail in Germany," Grube said. "And it set new standards, for example with the travel speed and its high quality and comfortable interior."

"ICE connects much more than A and B," said Bohle. "It connects people. The ICE has influenced how we travel today, as we live and work and is a very important part of modern Germany. This also applies to the ICE 4, which will begin trial running in the autumn."

ICE was launched in 1991 between Hamburg and Munich via both Frankfurt and Nuremburg using the new Hannover - Würzburg and Mannheim - Stuttgart high-speed lines where ICE 1 could reach its maximum speed of 250km/h.

In 1992, DB introduced its first cross-border ICE serivces to Basle and Zürich in Switzerland. Today, ICE links Germany with six neighbouring countries.

DB carried around 10 million passengers on ICE services in the first year of operation, compared with nearly 80 million passengers a year today. DB launched ICE with 25 ICE 1 trains, whereas today it operates around 250 trains.

DB ICE four generations wide

The four generations of ICE: 1, 2, 3 and the new ICE 4.

IRJ marked the launch of ICE by publishing a 48-page supplement on the project in June 1990 followed by a series of feature articles in June 1991.

ICE supplement June 1990