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European Railroad Discussion > Three kinds of ICE-3: DB’s International Speedster


Date: 12/23/19 18:45
Three kinds of ICE-3: DB’s International Speedster
Author: F7sForever

Pre-2000, Germany's State railway, Deutsche Bahn, procured lighter weight, higher speed train sets for its InterCity Express (ICE) services. The first generatoin ICE-1 sets run at up to 250kmph, but with DB's desire to reach outside its borders and tap into markets in France, the UK and elsewhere, higher speed sets were needed when new equipment was procured.

For the third generation ICE-3, builder Siemens made two radical departures from the traditional locomotives and cars approach of the ICE-1 and ICE-2. First, they went to a semi-permanently coupled train set, with shared Jacobs bogies more like those on lighter weight intercity sets. Second, and this is where it gets revolutionary, the trains sidestepped the locomotive (or powerhead in DB nomenclature) in favor of having the traction systems distributed throughout the train. This means that all eight cars of an ICE-3 set are occupied. The ICE-3 sets can be coupled together in pairs, giving 16 cars with seats for 882. This compares to 759 seats in a 14 car ICE-1 set. The ICE-3 is also capable of operating speeds of 320kmph. Since entering service two decades ago, the ICE-3 has spawned three variants.

Photo 1: The domestic ICE-3 sets are DB's class 403. They were built for the 300kmph high speed line between Koln and Frankfurt, but with 60 sets in service, they're common elsewhere in the system as well. (I saw several at Berlin HBf when I was there last month, including this one, which was discharging passengers after arriving from Koln.) The ICE-3 line is distinguished from its predecessors by the shared lead car (note that the pantograph is actually on the second car in the train) and a more rounded, streamlined appearance.

Photo 2: For international service, DB's class 406 fills the bill. Externally, they're fairly identical to the class 403. With additional luggage capacity, there are a few less seats - 430 for an eight car set, as compared to 441 for the class 403. A total of 17 were ordered, with four sets owned by Dutch railroad Nederlandse Spoorwegen, and carrying their markings in place of the DB logos on the nose and side. This one photographed at Amsterdam Centraal carries DB markings. The class 406 trains run to Belgium, Switzerland, and the Netherlands. They initially ran into France as well, but reliability problems led to them being replaced by EuroDuplex TGVs on the run between Frankfurt and Paris.

Photo 3: The most recent iteration of the ICE-3 is the class 407, based on Siemens' Velaro-D design. The 16 "New ICE-3" sets have a slightly higher capacity of 460 passengers, and can run at speeds up to 320kmph. They're a bit more bulbous around the nose, and have some other slightly different dimensions as well, as they were built to run through the Channel Tunnel to London for a service that never was launched. They are regulars on the Hamburg to Paris route as well. Honestly, I've seen more class 407s outside of Germany than I have inside. Evidence presented here is a set taken at Paris Gare de l'Est in 2017.

More photos to come.

Jody








Date: 12/23/19 18:52
Re: Three kinds of ICE-3: DB’s International Speedster
Author: F7sForever

Photo 4: ICE-3 set at Berlin Hauptbahnhof displays the scharfenberg coupler that is behind the nose doors. These couplers amaze me - air, MU, electrical, and communication, etc. all in one quick connection. I have seen photos of the international ICE-3M sets coupled to French TGVs for movement.

Photo 5: ICE-3M set wearing Nederlandse Spoorwegen badges at Amsterdam Centraal leaves the station to begin its run.

Photo 6: A good look at how brawny the Siemens Velaro-D is when compared to an Alstom-built TGV Reseau at Paris Gare de l'Est last month. Note also that the clamshell doors covering the couplers are split horizontally on the New ICE-3, rather than vertically like most other high speed train sets.

 



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/23/19 19:14 by F7sForever.








Date: 12/23/19 19:08
Re: Three kinds of ICE-3: DB’s International Speedster
Author: F7sForever

Photo 7: The success of the ICE-3 spawned the Velaro family of train sets for Siemens, with customers in Russia, China, Turkey, and Spain. The redesigned Velaro D was selected for the next generation Eurostar e320 train sets based in the UK. Those sets, featuring 16 cars, are functionally two New ICE-3 sets without the extra cab cars. Here's the front of an e320 set at Amsterdam Centraal between a Thalys PBKA and an NS Intercities train.

Photo 8: Driven by the success of the ICE-3, DB went back to Siemens for the trains that will eventually replace many of the ICE-1 and ICE-2 sets in domestic service. Though they look similar to the ICE-3, the new ICE-4 is a slower train, with a top speed of 280kmph. They are distinguished from the ICE-3 by having a more flat, shovel-like nose that echoes the aesthetic of the trains that they will be replacing. DB has 220 sets ordered, with options for additional sets. 

Photo 9: Also not an ICE-3, DB's ICE-T tilting trains were built to pull additional speed out of slower speed lines. They were ordered in 1994, and feature tilting carbodies in five and seven car consists. Photo of two five-car sets in Frankfurt last month. Visually, they are also distinguishable from the ICE-3 by having a much sharper slant to the nose. I'll have a closer look at one of these sets from a ride to Berlin in an upcoming post.

I haven't had the chance to ride in DB's ICE-3 fleet, but I did take a Eurostar derivative from Paris to London a few years ago. I'll post those photos in the future.

Thanks for reading!

Jody



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/23/19 19:12 by F7sForever.








Date: 12/24/19 07:52
Re: Three kinds of ICE-3: DB’s International Speedster
Author: darkcloud

Good thread, thanks for taking the time to put it together.



Date: 12/24/19 08:13
Re: Three kinds of ICE-3: DB’s International Speedster
Author: gaspeamtrak

Yes ! My exact words too! 
Thank you for sharing them with us!!! :):):)

darkcloud Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Good thread, thanks for taking the time to put it
> together.



Date: 12/24/19 15:05
Re: Three kinds of ICE-3: DB’s International Speedster
Author: gaspeamtrak

If only I could win that lottery tonight here in Canada I would be gone like a race horse to the UK and Europe!!! :):):)



Date: 12/24/19 22:37
Re: Three kinds of ICE-3: DB’s International Speedster
Author: 86235

F7sForever Wrote:

> Photo 8: Driven by the success of the ICE-3, DB
> went back to Siemens for the trains that will
> eventually replace many of the ICE-1 and ICE-2
> sets in domestic service. Though they look similar
> to the ICE-3, the new ICE-4 is a slower train,
> with a top speed of 280kmph. They are
> distinguished from the ICE-3 by having a more
> flat, shovel-like nose that echoes the aesthetic
> of the trains that they will be replacing. DB has
> 220 sets ordered, with options for additional
> sets. 

Aren't these on hold at the moment whilst Siemens and Bombardier sort quality issues out?



Date: 12/24/19 22:58
Re: Three kinds of ICE-3: DB’s International Speedster
Author: dan

I hope Jody, you guys win the colorado lottery and you go to Japan and share some  more pics



Date: 12/25/19 03:05
Re: Three kinds of ICE-3: DB’s International Speedster
Author: F7sForever

86235 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
>
> Aren't these on hold at the moment whilst Siemens
> and Bombardier sort quality issues out?

Looks like that's all behind us, per this press release in July: https://press.siemens.com/global/en/pressrelease/deutsche-bahn-resumes-acceptance-ice-4-trains

Jody



Date: 12/25/19 03:41
Re: Three kinds of ICE-3: DB’s International Speedster
Author: railsmith

F7sForever Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Though they look similar
> to the ICE-3, the new ICE-4 is a slower train,
> with a top speed of 280kmph.

The linked source says Class 412 (ICE 4) 12-car sets "can run" at 250 km/h. Not clear whether that is maximum design speed or effective top operational speed. https://www.railway-technology.com/projects/ice-4-high-speed-train/



Date: 12/25/19 10:15
Re: Three kinds of ICE-3: DB’s International Speedster
Author: F7sForever

railsmith Wrote:

> The linked source says Class 412 (ICE 4) 12-car
> sets "can run" at 250 km/h. Not clear whether that
> is maximum design speed or effective top
> operational speed.
> https://www.railway-technology.com/projects/ice-4-
> high-speed-train/

That appears to be correct; the Siemens source I doublechecked showed operational testing starting at 160kmph and increasing to the operating speed of 250. I am not sure where 280 came from; it might be a design parameter. At one point during this, I had spec sheets open all over the place, for about every model of ICE built, as well as the ICE-X program specs that spawned the ICE-4. I am still a student of European high speed rail as well, and these posts are as much an invitation for me to go down the rabbit hole while writing them as they are a hopeful passing along of what I have learned over the last few years. The double check is a good thing.
 



Date: 12/25/19 10:54
Re: Three kinds of ICE-3: DB’s International Speedster
Author: SOO6617

The top speed in service is 250 kph because safety regulations dictate tougher crash requirements for higher speeds and more exacting requirements during testing. And of course in Germany there is only one section of track where higher speeds are allowed, the Rhein - Main NBS linking Köln with Frankfurt am Main. All the other stretches of NBS and ABS are limited to a maximum of 250 kph or less. During testing new equipment is testing maximum service speed plus 10 % is required to be safely achieved, that 280 kph was probably achieved during testing and was likely in Siemens literature for possible foreign buyers.



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