DB ICE Maintenance Site to Open Two Years Ahead of Schedule

Deutsche Bahn’s (DB) new railway works in Cottbus is now set to begin servicing ICE trains in 2024 – two years earlier than originally planned.

Deutsche Bahn ICE 4 in shop
Deutsche Bahn ICE 4

Construction of the plant will begin next year, with preparatory measures such as subsoil exploration already underway.

Instead of a large maintenance hall with six tracks, the Cottbus plant will begin life in 2024 as a double-track hall. Another hall, with a further four tracks, will follow by 2026. By expanding in this way, the new plant can begin operation earlier.

The hall for hybrid locomotives originally planned in Cottbus will now be integrated into the existing plant. In the course of the preliminary planning, this was found to improve production efficiency.

The new maintenance facility will enable passengers to benefit from more reliable, punctual trains as they’ll be back in service faster. This is an essential building block on the way to further increasing the number of long-distance passengers and thus contributing to climate-friendly mobility and the turnaround in traffic.

A planned 1bn euros (1.18bn USD) will be invested in this project as part of the Coal Regions Investment Act. This law sees federal and state governments support the regions affected by the phase out of coal through projects that provide sustainable jobs and new economic structures.

DB plans to hire 500 new employees for the plant opening, with a further 700 jobs added by 2026. This will strengthen employment opportunities and support economic growth in both the city and the wider Lusatia region.

Richard Lutz, CEO of Deutsche Bahn, said:

“We need this plant so that even more ICE 4 trains can run and even more people can use the train as the most climate-friendly means of transport.

“The plant is a double investment in the future. It promotes the mobility transition and therefore makes an important contribution to climate protection, while also supporting economic growth in Lusatia by offering good jobs.”

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