[DE / Expert] Deutsche Bahn buys 30 new ICE trains – but can they afford it? [updated]

On 07.11.2019 the board of directors of Deutsche Bahn officially approved the acquisition of 30 new ICE trains (and the investment of EUR 500 million in its ICE workshops). It is the next step in DB’s plan to accelerate the expansion of its long-distance train fleet as ridership numbers are growing and competition is looming. 

This article was first published on 21.09.2019 and updated on 04.10.2019 and 10.11.2019.

The 30-unit order for very high-speed trains (Vmax 320 km/h) will be part of a 90-unit framework. It has not been decided who will get the order, but the conditions DB included in the tender document are quite restrictive. Especially the required compatibility with the existing DB Class 407 EMUs leaving only a few options open. DB wants to operate the new trains predominantly on the routes Köln – Rhein-Main and München – Berlin.