The New ICE 3: More Comfort For Passengers
Andreas Busemann, Head of Production at DB Bahn Long Distance, and Jürgen Wilder, CEO of the High Speed and Commuter Rail Business Unit of Siemens AG, presented the new ICE 3 of Deutsche Bahn (DB) today on a press tour.
“Above all, the new ICE 3 offers our customers a real plus when it comes to service and comfort. Passengers can keep informed about the train’s progress on the new overhead monitors, and comfortably dine in the full-sized onboard restaurant with 16 seats while traveling through Germany at speeds of up to 300 kilometers an hour. In addition, the Series 407 scores with lower energy consumption and higher technical reliability,” talking with Berlin Observer, commented Busemann.
In particular, the most modern ICE train offers numerous improvements for passengers with reduced mobility. The new trainsets are the first in Deutsche Bahn’s long-distance trains to provide a lift for wheelchair users. The wheelchair area is generously dimensioned, and both wheelchair spaces are fitted with a height-adjustable table and a service call button. A tactile guidance system including floor strips and tactile seat numbers helps sight-impaired and blind passengers. In addition, grab poles are provided in longer aisle sections, aisle seats have grab handles, and the door steps and inner doors are designed with stronger visible contrasts.
The Series 407 is based on Siemens’ Velaro platform. The new ICE 3 also has eight cars – like its forerunner – yet offers more seats: 444 including 111 in first class. Two trains can be coupled into a double unit with a seating capacity of 888. Externally, the new train differs from its forerunner through a newly designed front end and a front-to-rear raised roof section for improved aerodynamics.
In December 2013, the new ICE 3 was approved for double-unit operation within Germany. By the end of December 2013, four ICE trains were handed over to Deutsche Bahn. Four additional trains are to follow by the end of March 2014. “We have successfully mastered the challenges, in particular those presented by the certification process, and are pleased to see the new ICE 3 running on Germany’s lines,” said Wilder.
Siemens is delivering a total of 17 trains to DB. At present, the first new ICE 3s are primarily running on the Cologne-Frankfurt (Main)-Stuttgart line in place of the previous ICE 3. Beginning in mid April, the eight delivered trains will be integrated into the current timetable. In coordination with DB, Siemens is conducting comprehensive test runs in France and Belgium with an additional eight trains in order to prepare for official approval of cross-border operation to these countries.