The next generation of Siemens ICE3s was shown off to the media at the company’s Krefeld plant in Germany yesterday.
DB will spend nearly 500 million Euros on the order for 15 of the trains (known as Class 407s) which will enter service from 2011. With a maximum speed of 320kph the multi-system trains can be used on services in Germany, Belgium and France.
The new train incorporates significant technical enhancements which include a redesigned under body, four completely independent traction units and redesigned couplers and nose covers. The trains have been made more aerodynamic to reduce fuel consumption. A heightened roof from the middle of the end coaches will reduce sonic booms in tunnels. Inside the body shell the majority of the technical equipment has been concentrated behind the driver’s cabs. This means that passengers won’t enjoy the famous view forward through the cab anymore – but capacity has been increased by another 40 seats as a result. Each 8-car train will now have 460 seats.
Following the well-publicised problems that the ICE fleet has suffered recently both DB and Siemens drew attention to the improved quality standards for the new train.
© Paul Bigland Photography