Germany: 18 Siemens Desiro HC Trains to Operate on Franconia-Thuringia Express

From December 2023, 18 new Desiro HC double-decker trains from Siemens Mobility will commence service on the Franconia-Thuringia Express network in Germany.

The new trains, which will travel at speeds of up to 160 kilometres per hour, are equipped with 380 seats and space for 36 bicycles.

They will feature free WiFi and an electronic passenger information system with 27 monitors. In addition, these new units have been designed with high-frequency windowpanes that improve phone reception.

18 Desiro HC double-decker trains will enter service in Franconia and southern Thuringia in December
18 Desiro HC double-decker trains will enter service in Franconia and southern Thuringia in December

The expanded Franconia-Thuringia Express service will be operated by DB Regio Bayern at frequencies of up to every 30 minutes.

For the first phase of inauguration, in December 2023, 18 four-car trains will start operating on four routes in Franconia and southern Thuringia.

In June 2024, eight additional six-car Desiro HC trains will then commence operations on the VDE 8.1 high-speed line to Erfurt. These units will be specifically designed to operate at a top speed of 190 kilometres per hour and will be fitted with 634 seats.

In total, the states of Bavaria and Thuringia are investing 320 million EUR in the new train fleet to expand their regional transport capacities.

Hansrüdiger Fritz, CEO DB Regio Bayern Regional Management said:

“The timetable change in December 2023 will mark the beginning of a new era for the Franconia-Thuringia Express. We will be significantly expanding our offering of climate-friendly rail service with the addition of the new trains. On the high-volume Nuremberg-Bamberg route, we will be providing between 100 and 200 additional seats per train. At the same time, a train will run from Nuremberg to Bamberg and back every half hour during the day.

“Passengers will benefit from greater comfort and convenience, such as WiFi service and highly dependable cell phone reception. We are delighted to be working together with the states of Bavaria and Thuringia as well as Siemens Mobility on the further modernisation of our train fleet, and excited that we will be operating even faster trains beginning in June 2024.”

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