Development of business units

Development of our fleet 4 Fleet and depot expansion To the Strong Rail strategy

Vehicle projects continued

  • In 2020, the modernization of the ICE 1 fleet began with a prototype train and the first three preproduction trains. Among other modifications, the trains are to be fitted with new seat covers, carpets, a modern passenger in­formation system and improved drive technology.
  • The redesign of the ICE 3 no. 87 was continued. The aim is to make the vehicles fit for use by 2030. This process includes technical stabilization to increase availability
    and modernization work in the comfort sector, such as the replacement of seats and carpets. The project completion is scheduled for the end of 2023.
  • The first seven-car ICE 4s have been in service since the schedule change on December 13, 2020. The trains offer 444 seats – 17 % more than the previously used ICE 2.

New vehicle purchases

  • We are investing € 1 billion in 30 ICE 3neos. The train is technically based on the platform of the ICE 3. It has 440 seats and reaches a maximum speed of 320 km/h. The first vehicles are scheduled to be deployed from the end of 2022, thus increasing seating capacity by 13,000 seats.
  • After the launch of the first fleet of Stadler Intercity 2 trains (KISS type) with nine four-car trains in March 2020, and the conclusion of the prototype contract for the upgrade to ETCS Baseline 3 in April 2020, the conversion contract for both fleets was also concluded in October 2020. The second fleet with eight six-car trains is expected to be taken over in September 2021. The conversions mainly relate to digital services and product adaptations, supplemented by double traction approvals in Germany and standard equipment with the ETCS standard. These modifications will ultimately make all 17 Intercity 2 trains a high-quality component of the Intercity fleet.
  • The first order of the ECx, consisting of 23 train sets, is in construction. The first trains will be in operation from De­c­­ember 2023. The trains are procured from a framework contract with the Spanish manufacturer Talgo for the supply of up to 100 multisystem locomotives and pas­­senger cars.
  • In 2020, the first ten of the 25 Intercity 2 trains from the third order were delivered by Bombardier. The trains are equipped with new software that improves their technical stability during operation. All 17 trains from the second order of Intercity 2 will be successively retrofitted with the new software.
  • In February 2021, the first 13-car ICE 4 multiple unit will be delivered. This XXL version of the ICE 4, which has been in service for several years, will add a total of 45,900 seats to the ICE 4 fleet, which has so far offered about 50,000 seats. The 13-car ICE 4 are pre-allocated for use on high-demand routes. Technologically, it differs from the current 12-car vehicle in that it has an additional second-class car that allows the multiple unit to accelerate even faster overall.

Vehicle availability improved

In 2020, our vehicle fleet increased by 26 ICE 4 trains and 19 Intercity 2 trains (including KISS trains). After the purchase of the ICE 4 and the ECx, we will continue to rejuvenate the fleet with the purchase of the ICE 3neo.

In 2020, we achieved improvements in technical vehicle faults and malfunctions in the passenger sector. After the re-expansion of the service at the end of May 2020, the technical vehic­le malfunctions and malfunctions in the passenger sector (for example WiFi, reservations) remained at a low level.

The good performance of the fleet was also demonstrated during the summer months of 2020. All the new series clearly proved their worth. Significant improvements were also achieved in the older series.

The ICE 1 service in Switzerland ended with the schedule change in mid-June 2020. These services are now fully covered by the ICE 4. By the end of 2021, the Swiss-capable ICE 1 sub-fleet will be fully aligned with the rest of the ICE 1 fleet and, among other modifications, will be converted to the new ETCS standard baseline 3.4.0.

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