My tickets for Gamescom came with free public transport tickets. While the Gamescom website reasonably clearly explains where they can be used, I failed to find if the train I have to take is of the type that has a supplementary charge or not. It is an ICE train, which the Gamescom website says should have this charge, but the Deutsche Bahn website shows nothing like it when trying to book a ticket.

The train I'm particularly interested interested in is the train from Düsseldorf Hbf to Köln Messe/Deutz (ICE 723, says Google maps).

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    Taking the RE from Düsseldorf to Köln Messe/Deutz it not that bad. You do not have to change trains, even. I do not think that you will save much time by taking a faster train (like IC or ICE) anyway. The trip should be less than an hour, I think. Commented May 9, 2016 at 16:28
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    You can use the "Nur Nahverkehr" or "Local transport" filter on the bahn.de website. Commented May 9, 2016 at 20:08
  • If you happen to be in the wrong train, it's possible to pay the difference without additional charge.
    – FooBar
    Commented May 26, 2016 at 17:52

2 Answers 2


For most purposes, German train tickets have three price categories: local and regional trains (branded S, RB or RE), 'regular' long-distance trains (IC or EC) and 'express' long-distance trains (ICE).

Your ticket is only valid for transport in the cheapest train categories (S, RB or RE). The easiest option to find only these trains in the DB route planner is to tick the check-box for 'local transport'. You can also select 'further search options' and under 'connections / less means of transport' select exactly which train category to search for.


"Supplementary charge" might not be the best way to put it but the text as a whole is reasonably clear. Basically, that ticket (like many other tickets in Germany) is not valid on long-distance trains. On the DB timetable search results, you can find out whether a train is a long-distance train by looking at the "Products" column. All ICE and IC trains are off-limits (you are unlikely to come across these in this case but CNL and EC would also be excluded), S and RE are OK (RB too, but I haven't seen one when checking that particular route).

You can look for these trains specifically by checking the "Local transport" option on the search form.

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    Thank you for your nice and detailed answer, yours and Tor-Einar's made me understand it. I chose to accept Tor-Einar's though, as his answer is slightly more easy to understand for someone not familiar with German public transport.
    – Belle
    Commented May 9, 2016 at 14:52
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    There are some very rare exceptions where a long distance IC is listed as a local train RE connection too. (e.g. IC2032 and RE52032 are the same train between Bremen Hbf and Norddeich Mole).
    – schlenk
    Commented May 9, 2016 at 19:52

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