Development of business units

Development of our fleet

Vehicle projects and continued

  • The ICE 4 has been in regular operation since December 2017. Since the end of the year under review, more than 40 ICE 4 multiple units have been in use. In addition to the Cologne — Rhein/Main and Berlin — Munich lines, transport services to Switzerland were also included in the schedule change in December 2019.
  • Since the schedule change, maintenance to the ICE 4 has also been taking place in Berlin, in addition to the previous maintenance depots in Hamburg, Munich and Cologne.
  • The redesign NO. 87of ICE 3 was continued. After 15 years of operation, 63 trains will be made fit for the future by 2022. Fifty trains will be equipped with ETCS and can then be used on new high-­­speed lines. After modernization, the vehicles can be used for at least another 15 years.
  • In the year under review, the modernization of the ICE 1 fleet began with a prototype train. The trains are to be fitted with new seat covers, carpeting, a modern passenger information system and improved drive technology, among other things.

New vehicle purchases 

  • In February 2019, a framework contract for up to 100 train sets, locomotives and cars was signed with Patentes Talgo, including a first contract order encompassing 23 train sets. Delivery of the first train is planned for January 2023. The ECx is expected to start operating as of December 2023 after the trial operation has been passed.
  • In September 2019, the last of the 17 Intercity 2 trains of the second contract order was accepted.
  • In mid-­­July 2019, the purchase agreement for the transfer of a total of 17 used double-­­deck multiple units (Stadler KISS type) was signed by the Austrian Westbahn. As of March 8, 2020, nine four-­­part double-­­deck traction multiple units (first sub-­­fleet) will initially be added to our range of services. The second sub-­­fleet consists of eight six-­­part trains expected to go into operation at the 2021 schedule change.
  • In September 2019, the procurement project for 30 new high-­­speed ICE trains began. The first trains are scheduled to begin operating at the end of 2022.

Vehicle availability under stress

In the year under review, vehicle availability continued to be under severe stress. This development was driven, among other things, by capacity bottlenecks in heavy and operational maintenance and the once again exceptionally long period of heat in summer 2019, which led to a significant increase in outages. However, the return to a stable operation was achieved significantly faster than in the previous year. Compensating positive effects resulted from:

  • transition of the new depot in Cologne-­­Nippes into regular operation, further technical stabilization of the fleet, for example by the rolling transformer maintenance in the ICE 3 and new wheelsets in the ICE T,
  • continuous fleet renewal due to the inflow of the ICE 4 and Intercity 2 trains.

DB Long-Distance summarizes the technical availability of components in the provision of trains for operation. This survey is used for internal management and takes into account even the smallest technical shortcomings in the trains, including those that do not restrict the safety and availability for passengers. Our target is to allow trains to go into operation without any restrictions and to continuously improve in this area.

Software problem with Intercity 2

The trains in the second Intercity 2 series, which are used in the southwest, are susceptible to disruption due to errors and defects in vehicle functions. As a result, there are often quality restrictions for customers. Together with the manufacturer Bombardier, we are working on eliminating the problems. The required software release and the conversion of the vehicles will start at the earliest from August 2020 and be finished by the end of 2020.

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