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I'm traveling September 26 from Paris, France to Göttingen, Germany in the German train ICE, in its first class, as follows:

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My questions are:

  1. Is the 34 minute interchange at Karlsruhe enough time to change platforms?
  2. Will I have enough space to carry two big suitcases (in the first class)?
  3. Are there often empty seats in the ICE first class, given my travel time?
  4. I downloaded the DB app and am trying to add my ticket no. but it can't find it, why? I tried to add the ticket no. both with and without the RE- prefix (RE= Rail Europe, the site I used to book). EDIT: downloading the Rail Europe app solved this issue!
  5. Anything else should I know?

2 Answers 2

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The 34 minutes is 30 minutes more than you need in Karlsruhe. You will wish it was less. A good railway tries to avoid such long and inefficient layovers.

The trains do have enough place for luggage. There are racks near the entrances or in the middle of the carriage, depending on type of train. And in the ICE train the overhead luggage racks are quite large as well, and can take big suitcases. 1st class is also rarely full. If you do not have a reservation look for a seat that has no reservation displayed on it.

You will not be able to add your ticket to the DB app as you booked it with Rail Europe. Booking with Rail Europe was not needed, and only adds complexity (and cost). Booking this with Deutsche Bahn would have been cheaper. You can try if you can load your ticket in the Rail Europe App. Best is probably to just print it out however.

But relax. This is train travel, not rocket science. Just be at Paris Est 15 minutes before departure, find your train, get on, and travel. You can use the DB app to look up the schedule, and find out the platform of your connecting train in Karlsruhe in advance.

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    Interesting. I travelled first class ICE last week in Germany and didn't see any luggage racks. The seating was three compartments and some open 2-1 seating space, some with tables. In my case it would have been quite awkward to travel with two large suitcases but it's possible that I missed something.
    – Hilmar
    Sep 3, 2023 at 13:35
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    Depends on the type of ICE. Some have luggage racks in the middle. All have overhead racks, and these take quite big suitcases. Sep 3, 2023 at 15:23
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    I agree, there is plenty of overhead space. But lifting a large and heavy suitcase in and out there can be quite difficult and awkward
    – Hilmar
    Sep 3, 2023 at 19:38
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    They will probably fit. For train travel I often travel with a Dakine Split roller, and that is 81x43x33, and it fits. (For train travel a more elongated rolling duffel is handier than the common squat spinners I so often see nowadays...) Sep 4, 2023 at 3:32
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    34 min for transfer is plenty if the train is on time. If it is not it might just save you or not help at all depending on the delay. Unfortunately delays are not infrequent with Deutsche Bahn.
    – quarague
    Sep 4, 2023 at 9:30
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On the subject of free seats; if that's a worry for you, you can buy a seat reservation from DB for €5.90. In the DB app, or on the DB webpage, search for your departure, go to booking, and find the "only seat" option (the app is in German for me, so I don't know the exact English phrasing).

The app also predicts how busy the train will be. Currently it's at "Mittlere Auslastung", which won't be a problem.

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