DB Opens New ICE 4 Maintenance Plant in Cottbus

Deutsche Bahn (DB) has officially opened its new ICE maintenance facility in Cottbus.

The new site, which has been specifically designed for the heavy maintenance of the DB ICE 4 fleet, was inaugurated by Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz, Brandenburg’s Prime Minister Dr. Dietmar Woidke and DB CEO Dr. Richard Lutz.

This achievement comes less than 20 months after the site’s groundbreaking ceremony.

DB's new Cottbus plant
DB’s new Cottbus plant

DB has currently ordered 137 ICE 4 high-speed trains and is continually expanding its ICE fleet as part of its Strong Rail strategy. This therefore creates the need for more maintenance capacity.

Alongside increasing capacity, the Cottbus plant is equipped with new automated technologies to help get the trains back on track more quickly.

During heavy maintenance, trains are partially dismantled and heavy components such as traction motors or bogies are replaced. In the new plant, this can be done within just two weeks.

The site’s almost 450-metre-long factory hall can accommodate the 374-metre-long XXL ICE, which has 13 cars and 918 full-length seats. In addition, two of the shorter, seven-car ICE trains, which are approximately 200 metres long, can also stand behind one another on the tracks. As a result, the trains no longer have to be divided for maintenance and employees can work on all cars simultaneously.

In addition, the site’s two maintenance tracks are elevated so that the side doors and wheel sets are easily accessible. Specially developed bogie changers are also installed in the hall floor, so that heavy bogies can be moved out to the side under the train.

Furthermore, a second hall with a total of four tracks is already under construction on the factory premises. This is scheduled to go into operation in 2026.

Richard Lutz, CEO of Deutsche Bahn said:

“The new Cottbus plant is a central building block for the further expansion of our offering and is indispensable for Strong Rail and the transport transition. In Germany's most modern maintenance facility, highly qualified employees ensure that the ICE 4 is back in use for our passengers more quickly. We also create attractive jobs in the region and thus contribute to successful structural change. The Cottbus plant is already a beacon of progress and new beginnings in our country. And we are continuing this success story with the construction of the second hall.”

The new facility is initially creating 450 highly qualified industrial jobs and training positions and is expected to create a total of 1,200 by 2026.

Employees at working Cottbus will benefit from the use of an app to identify required parts and components that can be instantly ordered from the train.

What’s more, augmented reality glasses will be used at the site so that technicians and engineers can be brought in from other locations.

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