IC (First Class) – for very special train trips you may choose this German train. When you are lucky, you are getting a new configuration, but normally you’ll get an old one. Traveling in the First Class of IC trains actually feels like a step back in time. The seats are extremely plush, wide and comfortable, but the colors are strange to say at least. Train traveling in another century!
German trains are generally very modern. Something that’s not really true for rides in the IC First Class. The InterCity trains are generally very old, but the cars for First Class passengers are the oldest parts in many trains.
As they are used way less frequently than cars for Second Class, the IC First Class sometimes still feels like taking a train in the 20th century. This is one of the main contrasts to the ICE First Class. However, trips in the InterCity First Class are very comfortable nevertheless.
Honestly, you are lucky to get an old IC First Class train when it comes to the seating comfort.
The old seats are extremely wide and may fit up to three slim people. There are also extremely soft making them feel like a bed. These seats may also be an option for an overnight trip as they instantly make you sleepy due to the comfort.
The only thing that’s a little strange is the design, but well, that must have been modern some decades ago. As many old IC First Class cars are compartment cars, you may also enjoy the comfort of having a full compartment for yourself.
This means you could actually stretch out on all three seats if you like to. Something that’s worth a mention as well is the headrest which is extremely large and very comfortable, too.
In InterCityExpress (ICE) trains, you benefit from both, complimentary snacks and on-seat service. Sadly, none of these was granted when we made our trip in the IC First Class.
Eventually, we had to go to the restaurant car which was located just a few steps away. The choice was a little limited, but as I was looking for some sandwiches, it didn’t bother me too much.
As I already mentioned in another train review, the quality of the cold snacks is decent. Yet, food in the InterCity First Class is nothing to write home about, especially as nothing is complimentary or any better than in Second Class.
I was kind of surprised how different IC and ICE trains actually are when it comes to traveling in First Class. All the benefits including on-seat service, complimentary snacks and newspapers were missing. I was especially sad about the latter as complimentary newspapers are a great feature for longer rides.
Sadly, the entertainment choices are fairly limited on IC trains anyway. The only thing I found was the train magazine which is to be found in all long-distance trains of Deutsche Bahn. Even though it is quite nice for reading several minutes, you’ll definitely feel bored when you don’t bring anything to work, read or watch.
Overall, the IC First Class was a little disappointment. I expected the experience to be on-par with the ICE First Class experience when it comes to the soft product. While the hard product is substantially more comfortable than the modern ICE First Class leather seats, the soft product is extremely lackluster.
There are indeed no special services for First Class passengers. This limits the advantages of booking an IC First Class ticket to more comfortable seats (at the same time the IC Second Class is mainly refurbished) and the proximity to the restaurant car. So while I definitely recommend booking First Class in ICE trains, I would only do so in IC trains if the price difference is marginal.