Deutsche Bahn has put into operation the first ICE 3neo high-speed train on the railway route between Frankfurt/Main and Cologne, on December 5, 2022, one week earlier than planned.
The inaugural passenger trip is taking place just two and a half years after DB ordered 73 Velaro MS high-speed trains (ICE 3neo) in 2020.
When DB’s timetable change takes effect on December 11, passengers will be able to use the train in regular service between Dortmund, Cologne and Frankfurt/Main, and all the way to Munich via the new Wendlingen–Ulm high-speed route. DB will gradually expand the scope of the train’s operation with the delivery of further trains. As of 2024, the ICE 3neo will also operate on international routes to Belgium and the Netherlands.
“DB and Siemens have delivered right on time. Just two and a half years have passed between the contract signing and the train’s inaugural passenger service. ICE procurement procedures generally take twice as long. The new ICE will delight our passengers with a new level of comfortand improved technology,” Michael Peterson, DB Board Member for Long Distance Passenger Transport said.
With space for 8 bicycles on each train, the new ICE will be the first high-speed train to transport them at speeds up to 300 km/h. New reservation displays with colored LED lights show all reserved and free seats at a glance. In addition, the ICE 3neo has specially developed windowpanes ensuring stable mobile phone reception, lighting that varies according to the time of day, and power sockets and pad holders at every seat.
One completely new development is the train’s robust, easy-to-use lift installed at a door reserved exclusively for passengers in wheelchairs. DB also trained around 5,000 employees to handle on-board service, maintenance, and driving in record time – a prerequisite for the speedy commissioning of the ICE 3neo.
With this investment, DB is further rejuvenating and expanding its long-distance fleet. By 2029, DB will have invested EUR 10 billion in new trains, including 73 ICE 3neo trains.
With a top speed of 300 km/h, the ICE 3neo high-speed train is an important factor in DB’s planned nation-wide synchronized timetable. By providing 32,000 additional seats by 2029, the train will help meet the seating capacity needed for expected passenger growth.
In 2020, DB awarded Siemens Mobility a EUR 1 billion contract for the supply of 30 ICE trains, with an option for further 60 high-speed trains with delivery starting 2022 until 2026. In 2022, the two companies signed a EUR 1.5 billion contract for 43 additional ICE 3neo highs-peed trains.