Railjournal has brought the news, that Deutsche Bahn has decided to change the order for ICE4 trains once more. This time, the total number of trains is lowered (130 > 119) but the number of coaches remains the same. Deutsche Bahn states that longer trains are needed to cope with the increasing demand.
Back in 2011, ICE4 was THE new generation of long-distance trains for both international and national services, but this plan has changed considerably over the past 6 years, which led to two revisions of the ICE4 order placed that year:
- 2011: 130 > 45x 7-car + 85x 10-car = 130 trains – 1.165 cars in total
- 2013: 130 > 45x 7-car + 85x 12-car = 130 trains – 1.335 cars in total
- 2017: 119 > 19x 7-car + 100x 12-car + 2 spare driving cars = 119 trains – 1.335 cars in total
With the 2013-correction, the possibility to equip ICE4’s with multisystem equipment (for example for operation in the Netherlands) was dropped and Deutsche Bahn decided to focus on its AC-home territory only (Germany, Austria and Switzerland). As AC-only trains are cheaper, the 10-car trains could become 12-car sets with similar pricing.
This second revision results in more longer trains. For shorter trains Deutsche Bahn has decided to widen its scope and invest in other train types too to cope with the expected growing long-haul ridership in the upcoming years. The first IC2 trains arrived in 2016 and their number will be growing to 69 in the next years. Also a tender has been issued for new good-old loco-hauled stock.
At this moment the production of ICE4’s at Siemens’ in Krefeld is gaining momentum. Homologation tests in Austria and Switzerland are on their way, sets are operated in passenger services in Germany already. The pictures in this article show two new coaches on their way to Austria, reportedly to pay Vienna a visit for climate testing.
We thank Herbert Pschill and Tobi Schubbert for the images.