Knorr-Bremse and Talgo agreed on an equipment contract for 23 new ECx long-distance trains which will be operated by Deutsche Bahn. The contract includes an option for 77 additional trains which would bring the total order to 100 trains.
Under the contract, Knorr-Bremse will supply the braking, HVAC and entrance systems as well as windscreen wiper units to Talgo from the first quarter of 2021.
After testing is successfully completed in 2022, the ECx passenger trains will successively replace older ICE1 trains on various routes.
From 2023, the locomotive-drawn passenger railcars will expand Deutsche Bahn’s fleet for national and international long-distance services.
The braking systems feature the EP Compact brake control, VV-270T compressors, steel brake discs and brake pads, and the vehicles and locomotives are also equipped with magnetic track brakes. Air conditioning is provided by roof-mounted, lightweight and compact HVAC units from Merak, Knorr-Bremse’s global subsidiary for integrated air conditioning solutions, which offer powerful, energy-efficient cooling performance even at a temperature of 40 °C. The systems from Merak’s successful Saloon Roof-Mounted Compact (SRC) family, deployed among others on Talgo high-speed trains in Saudi-Arabia and Spain, are the market’s first serial units prepared both for conventional and natural refrigerants like R290.
Passengers will board via E3D-e1 doors from Knorr-Bremse subsidiary IFE, which also meet PRM requirements (People with Reduced Mobility). With no steps to climb when boarding, the ECx sets standards in terms of accessibility and offers all passengers greater flexibility and comfort. Knorr-Bremse will be equipping the trains with windscreen wiper systems featuring electro-pneumatic control modules.
The ECx long-distance trains are designed to make journeys faster, more attractive and more comfortable, particularly on the Berlin-Amsterdam route from December 2023, running every two hours, as well as tourist routes to the North Sea and the Alps. From summer 2024 the new trains are scheduled to operate on the routes between Westerland (on the island of Sylt) and Cologne, between Westerland, Frankfurt and Karlsruhe, between Westerland and Berlin and between Oberstdorf (in the Bavarian Alps) and Cologne.
With the new ECx, journey times will be cut by 30 minutes to 5 hours and 50 minutes. This is made possible by the Talgo new multi-system locomotives, which will eliminate the need to change locomotives at the border.
DB and Talgo signed a EUR 550 million contract for the supply of 23 trainsets which will deliver a total of 570 seats. The train concept was unveiled in March 2019 and the contract for communication and management system was signed in June 2020.