More High-speed ICE Trains Serve Frankfurt Airport Effective August 1: FRA Intermodal Hub Expands Ist Catchment Area Significantly; New Line Provides Fast Link Between Rhine-Ruhr and Frankfurt/Rhine-Main Regions
Frankfurt, Germany (ots) - With the inauguration of more InterCity Express (ICE) train services and a new high-speed rail line to Germany's most populated region, Frankfurt Airport (FRA) continues to strengthen its position as one of the world's leading intermodal (the linking of different modes of transportation) air/rail hub. Beginning August 1, the latest generation of Deutsche Bahn's ICE-3 trains will commence service on the newly completed line linking the Frankfurt/Rhine-Main and Rhine-Ruhr regions. Initially, ICE trains will travel in shuttle service from Frankfurt's central station (Hauptbahnhof) via FRA's Long-distance Train Station (a.k.a. AIRail Terminal) to downtown Cologne and back. As a result, rail travel time between FRA and downtown Cologne will be cut in half to about one hour.
From December 15, FRA's AIRail Terminal will be fully integrated in Deutsche Bahn's new rail timetable. Then, nine ICE trains will be stopping per hour and per direction at Frankfurt Airport. Also from December onward, seven ICE lines will be available directly from Frankfurt Airport: Münster to Frankfurt, Dortmund to Frankfurt, Dortmund to Munich, Dortmund to Basel (Switzerland), Amsterdam (Holland) to Frankfurt, Brussels (Belgium) to Frankfurt, and Hamburg to Stuttgart. In addition, two regular-speed InterCity (IC) lines will be available: Hamburg to Vienna, and Wiesbaden to Munich.
Improving rail connections with the Rhineland will bring more passengers from this densely populated region to Frankfurt Airport - visibly enlarging FRA's catchment area. The annual traffic volume at the AIRail Terminal is expected to grow from 3.3 million passengers in 2001 to over five million passengers in 2003. Fraport AG Frankfurt Airport Services Worldwide has been pioneering intermodal travel since 1972, when FRA inaugurated Terminal 1 and its integrated railway station. Today the airport features two railway stations, one for regional trains and one for long-distance trains.
The innovative AIRail Service pilot project - a joint venture launched by Deutsche Bahn, Fraport and Lufthansa in the spring of 2001 - provides a seamless intermodal service between Stuttgart's central train station (ZWS - the station's three-letter code) and Frankfurt Airport (FRA). Tentatively in January 2003, passengers will also be able to use a similar service at Cologne's central rail station when taking ICE trains to Frankfurt Airport. For example, they would be able to check in their baggage all the way through to their final destination airport, such as New York or Hong Kong. For the Stuttgart AIRail Service, passengers check in their baggage and also receive the boarding card for the airline portion of their journey. Upon arriving at FRA, they simply proceed to their appropriate Lufthansa departure gate while their baggage is automatically transferred from the train to the plane.