DB Invests Additional Billion Euros in ICE 1 and ICE 4 Trains

Deutsche Bahn (DB) has announced it has ordered additional ICE 4 trains. In doing so the company is topping up its investment of 5.3 billion euros to date by a further 700 million euros. Deutsche Bahn’s supervisory board gave the go-ahead for this initial investment on 26 September. Deutsche Bahn will also be investing a further 320 million euros into modernising its ICE 1 fleet.

ICE 1, ICE 2, ICE 3, ICE 4
ICE 1 series 401 / ICE 2 series 402 / ICE 3 series 403 / ICE 4 series 412 © Deutsche Bahn AG / Kai Michael Neuhold

Dr Richard Lutz, Chairman of the Management Board, said:

“We are making rail even more attractive with these additional investments. They mean more space and comfort and a greater range of services for passengers on our long-distance routes. Trains are and will remain key for a successful transport transition.”

The new rolling stock order with Siemens comprises:

  • the purchase of 18 new ICE 4 trains (seven-car units)
  • the purchase of 50 individual carriages with which twelve-car ICE 4 trains that have already been ordered can be extended and turned into thirteen-car units

The number of passengers travelling by train has risen continuously in Germany over the past three years, reaching 142 million in 2017. DB is expecting record passenger numbers for 2018 too. These additional trains and carriages are a marked expansion to the long-distance route programme that DB launched in 2015 in an effort to win over even more people to rail.

Berthold Huber, who is in charge of passenger services at DB, said:

“We’re steadfastly developing our services. By investing in modernising our fleet we’re reducing the average age of our vehicles, creating additional capacity and are becoming more flexible. That allows us to improve the reliability and seating on our routes that are in high demand.”

ICE 4: More Space Than Any Other Mode of Transport Within Germany

The new flagship of long-distance travel, the twelve-car ICE 4, will be given an additional carriage, making it the longest trainset in the DB fleet with a total length of 375 metres. 50 of the already ordered 100 vehicles will be extended in this manner. The number of seats in these trains will go up from 830 to 918 – that’s roughly five times more than in a short-haul plane and around fifteen times more than in a coach. The thirteen-car train will offer more capacity on routes that are already in big demand.

The additional car that will be supplied is a power car so that the propulsion of the train is increased further. This means that the extended ICE 4 will be able to operate reliably on routes with major inclines such as Cologne–Rhein/Main. Tests are on-going to see if the maximum speed can be increased from 250 km/h to 265 km/h.

Deutsche Bahn has also increased its order of seven-car ICE 4 trains. The planned order of 19 has been increased to 37. This ‘little brother’ of the long ICE 4 trains can operate either individually or coupled to another such unit, making it a flexible choice.

ICE 1 Made Fit for the Future

The investment of 320 million euros into the modernisation of the ICE 1 fleet will make the pioneer of German high-speed rail fit for use until 2030. This move also increases the fleet reserves for DB. The trains will be given new seat covers and carpets, a modern passenger information system and improved traction technology.

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