updated on 30th Oct 2023 12:58 posted on 19th Oct 2023 17:20
The movement to modernize regional transport continues to gain momentum: when the timetable changes in December 2023 will start, 18 new Clas 1462 Desiro HC (partially) double-deck EMUs from Siemens Mobility will inaugurate service for the Franconia-Thuringia Express. With a top speed of 160 km/h, 380 seats, spaces for 36 bicycles, WiFi service, high-frequency windowpanes that significantly improve cellphone reception, as well as an electronic passenger information system with 27 monitors, the new Franken-Thüringen-Express (Franconia-Thuringia Express) operated by DB Regio Bayern will offer a special experience for passengers.
The new trains will operate on many routes in the future, such as between Nürnberg and Bamberg daily between 05.00 and 22.00 h every 30 minutes in both directions, providing over 10,000 additional seats. DB Regio Bayern and BEG presented the new train 19 October 2023 together with Siemens Mobility at the Bamberg main station, followed by a press tour through Franconia. The states of Bayern and Thüringen are investing a total of 320 million EUR in the new fleet to expand regional transport capacities.
The new, red Desiro HCs will begin service in two stages: in December 2023, 18 Class 1462 four-car trains, 1462 031 to 048, will start operating on four routes in Franken and southern Thüringen. The second stage will follow in June 2024, when eight Class 4462 six-car units, 4462 001 to 008, specially designed for a 190 km/h top speed and fitted with 634 seats, start running on the VDE 8.1 (German Unity Transport Project Number 8) high-speed line in the direction of Erfurt. They will be among the fastest regional trains operating in Germany. Passenger access to cars has been optimized for serving the region’s busiest stations with a platform height of 760 cm. The fleet has been ordered in mid-2020.
Bärbel Fuchs, Managing Director of BEG: “Passengers on the Franken-Thüringen-Express can look forward not only to more comfortable new trains, but also to a big improvement in service. On most of the lines, the regional trains will run more frequently than at present. For example, we have ordered and financed 20 % more regional expresses in order to provide daily half-hour service between Bamberg, Erlangen, and Nürnberg when the new timetable takes effect. And two trains will run every hour between Bamberg and Kronach in the future, providing half-hourly connections for most stations on this route as well. As of June 2024, we will connect Coburg with Bamberg and Nürnberg on an hourly basis via the new high-speed line. The new trains will also provide extremely fast services five times a day from Franken to Erfurt, where there are interesting connections to many parts of eastern and northern Germany.”
The two-stage concept
Following the timetable change in December 2023, the four-car Class 1462 Desiro HC EMUs will serve as the standard trains on the following routes:
- Nürnberg - Bamberg - Würzburg/Saalfeld Regionalexpress (on the Nürnberg - Bamberg section in double traction),
- Nürnberg - Bamberg - Coburg/Saalfeld Regionalexpress (on the Nürnberg - Lichtenfels section also in double traction),
- Bamberg - Kronach Regionalbahn (regional train) with mixed operation with current trains until June 2024,
- Nürnberg - Bamberg - Coburg Regionalexpress via the VDE 8.1 HSL will continue to operate with the existing double-deck trains until June 2024, hauled by two top-and-tailed Vectrons.
Following the mid-year timetable change in June 2024, the six-car Class 4462 Desiro HC units will run on the Nürnberg - Bamberg - Coburg - Sonneberg/Erfurt Regionalexpress route, via the VDE 8.1 high-speed line. The complexity of developing new trains for this particular route accounts for the two-stage commissioning process. The new Desiro HC EMUs of Classes 1462 and 4462, both with a power of 4,000 kW, will be located at Nürnberg depot.