The Helvetia was an express train that, for most of its existence, linked Hamburg-Altona station in Hamburg, Germany, with Zürich HB in Zurich, Switzerland. Introduced in 1952, it was operated by the Deutsche Bundesbahn / Deutsche Bahn (DB) and the Swiss Federal Railways (SBB-CFF-FFS). The train's name, Helvetia, is the Latin word for "Switzerland".
Initially, the Helvetia was a Schnellzug (D), later a Fernschnellzug (F - although actually diesel multiple units were used on this service). In 1957, it became a first-class-only Trans Europ Express (TEE). On 27 May 1979, it was reclassified as a two-class Intercity (IC), and on 31 May 1987, it was included in the then-new EuroCity (EC) network. Following a brief hiatus in 1991–1992, it was reintroduced as an Intercity-Express (ICE). It ceased to be a named train at the end of 2002.
On 12 August 1965, the Helvetia was involved in a serious collision in Lampertheim, Hesse, in which the train formation (consist) was severely damaged, and four people lost their lives.