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ICE trains for Deutsche Bahn approved for Germany

The new ICE trainsets from Siemens for Deutsche Bahn (DB) have been approved for immediate deployment in Germany. The German Federal Railway Authority (EBA) approved the trains’ operation – also in multiple-unit or so-called double-traction mode – on DB’s rail network. Two trains were delivered in November for test purposes. Siemens has now supplied DB with two more ICE trains of the Velaro D type for deployment in Germany, with four additional trains to follow in the spring of 2014.

Since 2008, DB has ordered from Siemens a total of 16 advanced high-speed trains, worth more than €500 million, for deployment in Germany, Belgium and France. Following their approval by the EBA, the new ICE trains can now go into operation on Germany’s rail network. The approval process for their cross-border deployment to Belgium and France is still underway. The regulations regarding train control systems – for example, those regarding the correct interpretation of route signals – vary in Europe from country to country. The related complexity is the main reason for the delivery delays.

“We’re cooperating with Deutsche Bahn, the French operator SNCF, the German Federal Railway Authority and the corresponding French and Belgian authorities to obtain approval – which has not yet been granted – for the trains’ cross-border deployment. However, we’re also dependent in this connection on a number of suppliers. In order to accelerate these processes in the future, we have to achieve harmonization with respect to technology and approval in Europe as quickly as possible,” stated Eickholt.

The Velaro D is a further development of the current ICE 3 trains, several of which have already been deployed in cross-border operation between Germany, France and Belgium since 2007. Each new train comprises eight individual cars and can accommodate up to 460 passengers – 30 more than its predecessor. With an output of 8,000 kilowatts (about 11,000 hp), the train can achieve speeds of up to 320 kilometers per hour (km/h). Like earlier models, the new ICE has traction motors that are mounted under the floor and distributed over the length of the train, enabling particularly rapid acceleration. The climate-friendly electric brake system feeds braking energy directly back into the power supply system.

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