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Meet Germany's Newest High-Speed Train: The ICE 4

January 28, 2016

German rail operator Deutsche Bahn’s (DB) newest train the ICE 4, formerly known as the ICx, recently completed a 12-week comprehensive testing program at Rail Tec Arsenal in Vienna. The Siemens-built trainsets were subjected to testing in the world’s largest climatic wind tunnel where they experienced extreme weather conditions. With temperatures ranging from -13 to 113 degrees Fahrenheit they had to perform at speeds of up to 200km/h. The tests were designed to ensure the train’s heating, air conditioning and ventilation work properly in severe conditions.

This Fall, two ICE 4 will enter passenger service in Germany for a 12 month trial period. The twelve-car trainsets will operate at a maximum speed of 250km/h and will have the capacity for 205 first and 625 second class passengers. The train is expected to reduce energy consumption by 22% per seat compared with the refurbished ICE 1 Additionally, each motored train car is electrically independent to allow for flexibility to suit changing market conditions.

The new train is part of DB’s plan to increase long-distance operations by 25% over the next 15 years. This involves an investment of 12 billion euros by 2030 with hopes of attracting 50 million more passengers a year. DB will be providing faster, more frequent and dependable services across Germany with two ICE trains an hour on core routes and service to nearly all cities with a population over 100,000.

With an order for up to 300 ICE 4 trainsets signed by DB in May 2011, the new train is poised to become the backbone of Germany’s long-distance network. They are meant to replace Intercity and Eurocity fleets put into operation between 1971 and 1991 and will eventually replace ICE 1 and ICE 2.

Last Week at MHSRA:

Our Executive Director Richard Harnish gave a presentation about the blended approach to building a high-speed rail network at the Texas Rail Advocates' Southwestern Rail Conference. You can watch the presentation here.

Articles We Enjoyed:

Will FAST Act bring fast results?
"After years of delays and extensions, a multi-year surface transportation bill is finally in place. Will it deliver on the advertised?"

Ceremony launches construction of Jakarta – Bandung fast line
"President Joko Widowo was joined by Jakarta Governor Basuki Purnama on January 21to lay a ceremonial foundation stone in Cikalong Witan to mark the launch of construction of a 142 km high speed line between Jakarta and Bandung."

China plans $US 121.6bn rail investment in 2016
"CHINA Railways Corporation (CRC) announced on January 17 that it has set itself a fixed asset investment target of Yuan 800bn ($US 121.6bn) for the third consecutive year."

Amtrak Says New York Region’s Rail Projects Could Cost Up to $23.9 Billion
"In a presentation to Mr. Foxx, Amtrak officials said the entire project could cost as much as $23.9 billion, with the largest share of about $7.7 billion going toward building the new Hudson tunnel and repairing the existing tunnel."

Bullet train's first segment, reserved for Southland, could open in Bay Area instead
"A valuable perk handed to Southern California from the bullet train project — a 2012 decision to build the first operating segment from Burbank north into the Central Valley — is being reconsidered by state officials. The state rail authority is studying an alternative to build the first segment in the Bay Area, running trains from San Jose to Bakersfield."

Upcoming Events:

Japan High-Speed Rail Tour

We are planning the tour for October of 2016. 

This trip will give everyone an opportunity to enjoy the rich history of train travel the country offers. We are creating an itinerary that includes riding the first high-speed rail line, visiting at least one railroad museum and meetings with experts in the field. We have already begun making contacts to arrange technical visits and train tours. Once we have received 10 fully-refundable deposits we will finalize the details of the trip.

Please click here if you would like to learn more or are interested in joining the trip.

Please click here if you are ready to make a $500 fully-refundable deposit for the trip.

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