Starting in 2016, rail passengers in Germany will be able to start riding on high-speed, energy efficient trains that “(lay) the cornerstone for the long-distance transportation of the future.”
Siemens will produce two versions of the train: one with a top speed of 230 kilometres per hour and another that can travel at up to 249 kilometres per hour. The cars will be far more aerodynamic and lightweight than those currently being run by Deutsche Bahn, resulting in an energy consumption level per passenger that will be up to 30 per cent lower than in today’s trains.
While the trains might be “green,” the contract for the vehicles between Deutsche Bahn and Siemens is anything but, coming in at a whopping 8,000 pages. For an order with a total potential value of €6 billion, though, we suppose there has to be a fair amount of fine print involved.
Up to 30 percent less energy consumption – Weight reduction of 20 tons – Improved aerodynamics – Power cars enable flexible configuration of trainsets – CEOs of DB and Siemens, Dr. Rüdiger Grube and Peter Löscher, sign contract in the presence of Federal Minister of Transport Dr. Peter Ramsauer and Chairman of the DB Supervisory Board, Professor Utz-Hellmuth Felcht.
Deutsche Bahn AG and Siemens AG today officially signed the multi-billion euro contract for construction of up to 300 new long-distance trainsets. The signing took place at the DB Akademie in Potsdam, in the former Kaiserbahnhof.
The Chairman of the Management Board and CEO of Deutsche Bahn AG, Dr. Rüdiger Grube, and Peter Löscher, Chief Executive Officer of Siemens AG, signed the 8,000-page contract in the presence of the Federal Minister of Transport, Building and Urban Development, Dr. Peter Ramsauer, and the Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Deutsche Bahn AG, Professor Utz-Hellmuth Felcht. DB will immediately order 130 trainsets from the framework order agreement valid until 2030. An order of an additional 90 trainsets is planned. The potential order volume for the 220 trainsets totals some six billion euros. DB can order the remaining 80 trainsets at any time.
“This is a good day for the Germany economy. The trainsets, from their body shells through their final assembly, will be made entirely in Germany. This order will safeguard thousands of jobs, including many in the mid-sized supplier industry,” explained the Federal Minister of Transport, Building and Urban Development, Dr. Peter Ramsauer. The Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Deutsche Bahn AG, Professor Utz-Hellmuth Felcht, said: “We are ensuring sustainable and successful further development of the company through the procurement of the new ICx trainsets.”
DB CEO Grube commented: “With the ICx, we are laying the cornerstone for the long-distance transportation of the future and setting new standards in terms of reliability, environmental compatibility and comfort. The rail system will benefit as a result. Our customers in particular can look forward to riding on the most modern trains in the world.”
“The energy efficiency and modularity of these vehicles offers unrivaled economical operation, while the flexible interior structure will provide a whole new level of comfort for passengers. The ICx is thus setting new standards for transportation between metropolitan areas and cities,” said Siemens CEO Peter Löscher.
The ICx will form the backbone of DB’s long-distance transportation system in the future. The technical basis for the ICx is an innovative platform concept. However, it also incorporates tried-and proven components already successfully used in assorted fitting and equipment variants in other train series around the world. Despite technical standardization of the vehicles themselves, the ICx provides a high level of flexibility for assembling up to 24 different train configurations. This is made possible by “power cars,” train cars equipped with all the components that drive units have. As a result, the trains can be easily adapted to the volume of passengers and level of performance required. In addition, the platform concept ensures considerably lower maintenance and service costs.
There will be two ICx variants. The first is a seven-part multiple-unit train with three driven power cars. It reaches a top speed of 230 kilometers per hour and has 499 seats. This trainset will be used primarily in what is currently the IC network. Relatively few of the route sections in this network can be driven at over 200 kilometers per hour, meaning this top speed is fully sufficient.
The second variant is a ten-part multiple-unit train with up to five power cars and 724 seats. It has a top speed of 249 kilometers per hour. These ICx trainsets can thus replace the ICE 1 and ICE 2 fleet presently operating at a usual speed of 250 kilometers per hour. In terms of running technology, all ICx trainsets are able to run at 249 kilometers per hour. The existing fleet of ICE 3 trains is available for speeds of over 250 kilometers per hour. Each of the two ICx variants includes a fully equipped on-board restaurant with either 17 or 23 seats, as well as a bistro with a standing area. In addition, the trains have a family compartment and eight reservation-only bicycle storage slots.
A new seating generation offers passengers more room while at the same time increasing the number of seats. When the seat is adjusted, the backrest no longer reclines backwards but instead moves within the shell contour of the seat. All the first-class seats in the ICx are equipped with electrical outlets and with reading lamps that can be turned on as needed. In second class, each double seat has one electrical outlet. Every car is equipped with up to six ceiling screens and one monitor for passenger information per entryway. For travelers with limited mobility, each train has a built-in boarding assistance ramp and handicapped accessible lavatory.
Thanks to its significantly improved aerodynamic form, the ICx has far less running resistance than the ICE trains currently in use. As a result of the lighter weight construction, it was also possible to reduce the weight for a 200-meter long train by some 20 metric tons. Energy consumption per passenger is up to 30 percent lower than in comparable existing trains.
One focal point of the contract was specification of quality criteria. For the first time in Europe, two ICx trainsets will be put through 14 months of trial operation, 12 of those in passenger service, before series production begins.
This will make it possible to identify improvement potential early on. The contract parties also agreed on a seven-month monitoring phase during which the data from the trainsets in operation will be fed directly back to Siemens. In addition, Siemens and DB will for the first time define joint milestones in the design and production phase that must be unanimously approved.
The first ICx trainsets are expect to enter into service in 2016. The new trains will be commissioned by line. Use of ICx trainsets for transportation in Germany will be given priority over neighboring European countries.
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