Order awaited

first_imgGERMAN Railway is planning to order a small number of pre-production loco-hauled coach sets for long-distance trains, for which tenders are to be prepared later this year. They will be the forerunners for an order for 1000 to 1200 vehicles intended to replace DB’s loco-hauled inter-city fleet, which at one time was to be superseded by tilting trains.These tilt trains were to form part of a joint order with Austrian Federal and Swiss Federal Railways (RG 12.01 p812), but the price was too high in DB’s view.DB has since reassessed its needs using whole-life costs, concluding that the loco-hauled formula offers better value for money than fixed-formation tilting trainsets. The future loco-hauled fleet will carry 30% to 40% of all DB’s long-distance traffic, the rest being carried by ICEs. A significant proportion of this traffic is international, and Klaus-Albert Bolten of DB Systemtechnik says that DB has learnt that maintaining multiple-units or fixed formation trains with integral power cars outside Germany is expensive, not least because of the need to have stocks of spares at depots in other countries.The future fleet will be built for push-pull operation with all types of car using a common bodyshell. Both classes will have accommodation in open saloons, and the flamboyant interiors of the ICE3 and its sister trains is unlikely to be replicated.A previous attempt to order the stock was linked to suppliers taking over DB’s works at Ammendorf and Delitzsch, but this fell foul of competition rules. A specification has been drawn up, but DB will not rush as the present inter-city fleet has just been through a refurbishment programme that will keep it going for up to 10 years.DB has decided to refurbish the ICE1 fleet at its Nürnberg workshopslast_img