ICE 4 and the German Network

On September 14 Germany’s railroad company Deutsche Bahn (DB) unveiled ICE 4, the latest generation of inter-city train sets. The Siemens built ICE 4 will have a top speed of 155mph and will be the backbone of Germany’s long-distance network. The CEO of DB announced that they plan to expand long-distance rail service by 25 percent by the year 2030, incorporating even more cities and regions into their network.

The 12-car ICE 4 will have 830 seats, room for bicycles and wheelchairs and a new traction system that allows for flexible car formations. DB has ordered 130 of these 155-mph train sets to replace their older conventional fleet.

Germany’s high-speed rail network was established differently than the typical hub and spoke model, which funnels traffic from a broad area into a large political and economic center. With five primary centers spread across the country, Germany instead used the phased network approach to create a grid with a mix of high-speed, upgraded and conventional track.

Many high-speed segments were built for a maximum speed of 155-mph so that they could also be used for freight. “Clockface” service (when the trains is scheduled for the same time every hour), combined with well-coordinated connections, makes the network valuable for a myriad of trip types and city pairs.

The ICE-4 is built to perform efficiently on the various track types and will be a boost to performance throughout the network.

This German experience with the phased network approach can provide the Midwest another tool when focusing on the expansion of passenger rail.


Dylan Hayward
Program Manager

Last week at MHSRA:

Federal Update

Congress passed a short-term budget extension (Continuing Resolution) and President Obama signed it on September 29th in order to keep agencies running until December 9th.

We are happy to report that the Continuing Resolution provides $235 million for the NEC and $1.155 billion for the national network for a total of $1.39 billion. This should create the stability needed to allow Amtrak to switch to their new accounting structure.

We will be advocating for appropriations for the new passenger rail programs created in the DRIVE Act as we approach the December 9th deadline.

Articles We Enjoyed:

ICE 4 Intercity Train for Deutsche Bahn Unveiled
“Deutsche Bahn has unveiled the new ICE 4 at Berlin Central Station which it says will be the backbone of its long-distance transport system.”

Cuomo Taps Developers for $1.6 Billion Moynihan Station Project
“The $1.6 billion project to transform the Farley Post Office Building, a Beaux Arts landmark on the West Side of Manhattan near Pennsylvania Station, will begin this fall, Governor Andrew Cuomo said in a presentation to the Association for a Better New York.”

Voters Asked to Raise Taxes For Trains, Buses
“In several cities, counties and regions, the Nov. 8 ballots will include measures asking voters to pay more taxes to fund transit projects. From Atlanta to Seattle, Detroit to Los Angeles, there are close to $200 billion in transit and infrastructure improvements at stake.”

Traveling Between Berlin and Munich is About to Get a Whole Lot Easier
“By December 2017, it will take a whole two hours less to travel between Germany’s largest and third largest cities.”

This Country Just Unveiled a Hydrogen-Powered Passenger Train
“The world’s first CO2-emission-free train powered through hydrogen was unveiled this week in Germany.”

Upcoming Events:

Thoughts on a Chicago-Detroit-Toronto High-Speed Line

This will be a brown bag lunch with Skidmore Owings & Merrill, Senior Designer, Robert Bracken.

When: November 9, 11:30AM – 1:00PM

Where: DePaul University, 14 East Jackson Blvd, 16th Floor – Dublin Room, Chicago, IL

Register for this free event today!

RUN Seminar

You are invited to attend the Rail Users Network (RUN) seminar to be held Saturday, October 8, in Lafayette, Indiana at the railroad station to review the progress of Indiana’s own passenger train, the Hoosier State.

When: October 8, 9:00am – 4:30pm

Where: Lafayette Train Station 200 N 2nd St, Lafayette, IN 47901

There is no charge to attend, but please let RUN know if you will be joining by sending an RSVP to [email protected].

Dylan Hayward
Program Manager
Midwest High Speed Rail Association
4765 N. Lincoln Ave.
Chicago, IL 60625

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