The Supervisory Board of Deutsche Bahn approved more than EUR 1 billion investment for the acquisition of new trains and the modernisation of the existing rolling stock fleet. DB will purchase from Siemens additional 18 seven-car ICE 4 trains, with a value of EUR 700 million, increasing the previous investment of EUR 5.3 billion. The company will also order 50 cars for ICE 4 trains and will invest EUR 320 million for the modernisation of ICE 1 trains.
The order for these additional 18 seven-car ICE 4 trains will increase the fleet from 19 such trains to 37 trains.
“With these additional investments we are making rail even more attractive. For our long-distance passengers this means more space, more comfort and a wider range,” DB Chairman, Richard Lutz said.
By ordering the 50 cars, DB will increase the length of the ICE 4 12-cars to 13 cars, totaling a length of the train to 375 meters, which will be company’s longest train unit of DB fleet. As a result, the number of seats will be increased from 830 to 918, about five times more than in a short-haul aircraft and about 15 times more than a long-distance bus. DB says that the 13-car train will offer more capacity on the routes with already great demand.
“We are continuing to develop our offer consistently. By investing in the modernisation of our fleet, we are reducing the average age of our vehicles, creating additional capacity and becoming more flexible. That’s how we can improve reliability and space on high-demand routes,”, Berthold Huber, DB Passenger Transport Director said.
The additional car will be powered to increase train’s traction power and the ICE 4 extended trains will be put into operation on Cologne – Rhine / Main route (Cologne- Frankfurt high speed rail). DB has also tested the increase of the speed from 250 km/h to 266 km/h.
In addition to these new trains, DB will invest EUR 320 million for the modernisation of ICE 1 trains allowing them to be used until 2030. The modernisation of these trains includes new seat covers and carpets, modern passenger information system and improved traction technology.