Transportation Tuesday: ICE from Munich to Bonn


Munich Hauptbahnhof. RL Fifield 2012.

I had a crazy scheme for last week’s trip to Germany. My last visit was to Dusseldorf and Cologne. I had work in next door Bonn this time around. I wanted to see something else of Germany besides its western edge. I flew into Munich and spent the day there. How do you get to Bonn if you are train geek? You take the ICE. I got a bit more of a train ride than I bargained for: it was a 5 1/2 hour ride.

What’s on the Menu? New York Public Library. 1900.


The ICE is express service in Germany. Its cars are downright luxurious compared to even Amtrak’s Acela service. I love the snack trolleys that roll through European trains, selling really wonderful pastries (this is Germany – they are everywhere), coffee, and even dinner. I read yesterday that you can have Dogfish Head 60 Min. IPA on Amtrak now – is it a step back toward what American rail service used to feature – real regional foods? A glimpse at the First Class Menu on Amtrak is on par with a menu at Denny’s. I think I’d rather have the Grand Slam. Check out what American onboard dining used to be like on this Baltimore and Ohio menu from the Royal Blue Line at NYPL’s What’s on the Menu? project (see my post on the project here).


Bonn Hauptbahnhof. RL Fifield 2012.

Bonn Hauptbahnhof. RL Fifield 2012.

Taking the train in Germany is visually beautiful. You wind through mountains, past fairy tale towns and castles. The train is packed to the rim – the service is popular and necessary. Between Frankfurt and Cologne, the train picks up speed, reaching 253km (157 mph). A quick switch to the more utilitarian Regional service took me to Bonn, and their 19th century station.

It’s easier for me to travel internationally than it is in my own country.

About Becky Fifield

Becky Fifield is a cultural heritage professional with 25 years experience in institutions large and small. She is currently Head of Collection Management for the Special Collections of the New York Public Library. An advocate for preventive conservation, Ms. Fifield is a Professional Associate of the American Institute for Conservation, Chair of the AIC Collection Care Network, and former Chair of Alliance for Response NYC. She is also a scholar of 18th century female unfree labor and dress. There's a bit of pun in the title The Still Room, delineating a quiet space brimming with the ingredients of memory, where consideration, analysis, and wordcraft can take place. Ms. Fifield’s interests include museum practice, dress history, historic preservation, transit, social and women’s history, food, current events, geneaology, roadtrips, and considerations on general sense of place. Becky and her husband, Dr. V, live in the Hudson Valley.