Deutsche Bahn AG presented the first carriage of the new ICE-L trains in Berlin this week. These have several special features. Among other things, the sets do not come from Siemens, but from the Spanish manufacturer Talgo.
So far, all multiple units that are sold under the Intercity Express brand have been produced by Siemens. With the ICE-L, Spanish trains are now also being used. From autumn 2024, 23 ICE Ls – the L stands for the English term “low floor” – will gradually strengthen DB’s long-distance transport fleet. First, the trains will be used on the Berlin–Amsterdam line. In 2026, the trains will also run on the tourist routes to Sylt and Oberstdorf.
The new additions are primarily intended to replace Intercity and Eurocity trains that are getting on in years. In some cases, however, the older trains will remain in service and the ICE-L railcars will be used to increase the range of services. A total of over 100 copies have been ordered from Talgo.
“These new generation trains will strengthen DB's offering and are part of a whole new standard set by what we at Talgo believe are the most demanding customers in the global rail market. This is a paradigm shift in passenger transport that Deutsche Bahn is heralding with the new ICE L and that will become the benchmark on the dynamic European market," says Gonzalo Urquijo Fernández de Araoz, CEO of Talgo.
New additions significantly slower than existing ICE fleet
The travel speed of the ICE-L will be comparable to that of the Austrian Railjets. Deutsche Bahn AG states that the trains will be traveling at around 230 kilometers per hour. This makes them significantly slower than the existing ICE fleet. The 256 m long ICE L consists of 17 passenger cars including a control car and a multi-system locomotive. This also makes cross-border use possible. The 562 seats are divided into 85 first class and 1 second class seats.
On board, passengers should be offered the same level of comfort as in existing ICE trains. In addition to the new ICE interior design, this includes, for example, comfortable, completely newly developed seats, a particularly high-performance WLAN, mobile phone-transparent windows, plenty of space for families with children, a restaurant car, eight bicycle parking spaces and passenger information with real-time data.
The slideshow below shows some impressions of the new ICE-L trains.