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On Deutsche Bahn's site about their train fleet, it's noted that wifi is available on all ICE trains and "some" Intercity trains. For ICE connections, I can therefore assume there’ll be something resembling wifi. But is there a way to know whether a given Intercity connection will (usually) be served by a train with wifi or not in advance, so one could for example have an idea of whether one could get some remote work done on a lengthy train ride? I'm assuming that the actual trains are marked with wifi symbols when wifi is available, but by the point one can see that it's a little late for advance planning.

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    I highly doubt it. There is quite a bit of last minute train swapping happening these days. You can count yourself lucky if the advertised number of cars and your reserved seat actually show up.
    – Hilmar
    Dec 22, 2023 at 12:49
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    @Hilmar true, knowing DB I'm probably being overly optimistic just asking "is there a way to know whether a given Intercity connection will be served by a train"... Dec 22, 2023 at 12:55
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    As far as I know all ice trains have wifi. I never been in one without (that is, they have routers and wifi network). However, it doesn't work all the time, often in places without 4g/3g cover. And sometimes it's quite slow for the whole trip.
    – André
    Dec 22, 2023 at 21:45
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    From my experience on ICE trains, I'm usually better off creating a mobile hotspot from my (5G-capable) phone with a Telekom contract compared to using the wifi.
    – helm
    Dec 22, 2023 at 22:36
  • For the ICE trains I know (and eh, slow wifi is better than EU data prices), it’s the Intercity (IC) ones that I‘m not so sure on. Dec 23, 2023 at 4:00

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I found the reiseauskunft page of DB which allows you to search all departing trains from a certain station, using filters on date, time and type of train.

If you click on the resulting train and scroll down, there is a free text section that describes what amenities are available:

enter image description here

Perhaps that is a source you can use?

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  • That’s a good overview! Though I’m currently on a train with wifi for which no such thing is noted on that page… shame, it’s informative otherwise. Dec 23, 2023 at 4:03
  • Thanks for checking real life against the website! I am tempted to remove this answer now as it explicitly does not answer your question, so please bookmark the DB page if you found it useful :) Dec 23, 2023 at 11:05
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The desired information is associated with individual cars, not the trainset as a whole. Obviously wifi has a limited range.

  1. Go to German Rail timetable information.

  2. Click on Show details.

  3. Either

    1. Click on Coach sequence toward the bottom of the now visible section. You can now select any stop and a coach sequence is shown.
    2. There is a key. A Wi‑Fi symbol WLAN indicates cars with Wi-Fi if available.

    or

    1. Click on a train name e. g. IC 1234. A new window opens.
    2. Click on Coach Sequence in the top right area. A new window opens. From here on it is the same as above.

Notes:

  • The coach sequence button is not always available so you cannot use it for long-term planning. You will need to resort to third-party sites such as Bahn.expert which may provide information regardless yet have different interfaces.
  • Apparently Wi-Fi information is omitted if trains are pretty much always equipped with Wi‑Fi, e. g. the ICE fleet.
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  • Good point - I’m used to it being an all or nothing setup rather than differing for individual cars (plus messaging here is „everyone on the train [as opposed to the individual car] shares the same connection (so don’t download huge files)“). Will say I’ve just poked around on Bahn.expert without spotting any IC trains with cars with wifi - unfortunately I’m in the wrong country to nip down to the station and verify like I could for Reiseauskunft where I happened to be on the actual train. That said, Bahn.expert looks incredibly useful anyway! Jan 5 at 5:13

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