updated on 7th Dec 2022 18:01 posted on 5th Dec 2022 17:35
On 5 December 2022, DB introduced its latest ICE generation into service - around a week earlier than originally planned. The new Class 408 unit made its inaugural trip with passengers between Frankfurt/Main and Köln. DB and Siemens Mobility succeeded in getting the train up and running in record time. Despite pandemic-related restrictions and disrupted supply chains worldwide, the inaugural passenger trip took place just two and a half years after the batch was ordered in July 2020.
With this investment, DB is further rejuvenating and expanding its long-distance high speed train fleet. By 2029, DB will have invested 10 billion EUR in new trains, including 73 ICE 3neos from the Velaro MS family (30 ordered in July 2020 and 43 more in early 2022). With a top speed of 300 km/h, the Class 408 fleet is an important factor in DB’s planned nation-wide synchronized timetable. By providing 32,000 additional seats by 2029, the train will help meet the seating capacity needed for expected passenger growth.
When DB’s timetable change takes effect on 11 December, passengers will be able to use the train in regular service between Dortmund, Köln and Frankfurt/Main, and all the way to München via the new Wendlingen - Ulm high-speed line. DB will gradually expand the scope of the train’s operation with the delivery of further units. As of 2024, the ICE 3neo will also operate on international routes to Belgium and the Netherlands.
With space for eight bicycles on each train, the new ICE will be the first high-speed train to transport them at speeds up to 300 km/h. New reservation displays with colored LED lights show all reserved and free seats at a glance. In addition, the ICE 3neo has specially developed window panes ensuring stable mobile phone reception, lighting that varies according to the time of day, and power sockets and pad holders at every seat. One completely new development is the train’s robust, easy-to-use lift installed at a door reserved exclusively for passengers in wheelchairs.
DB also trained around 5,000 employees to handle on-board service, maintenance, and driving in record time - a prerequisite for the speedy commissioning of the Class 408.
We asked DB and Siemens:
1) how many 408s will be in service from 11 December? (in other words, will there be more than 408 007 in regular service?)
2) when was type approval granted at the EBA (ERA)?
3) the 408 001 - 007 are always being tested?
4) how many 408s are to be handed over to DB in 2023?
DB answered us: „Starting on 11 December 2022, four ICE 3neo units will be in service. Then during 2023, we expect 11 Class 408s to be in service, with the remainder of the first call-off of 30 trains then from 2024 to early 2025. This will allow us to rapidly increase capacity on key routes. The second call-off of 43 Class 408s ordered from the framework agreement will be produced immediately after the first batch, with the last trains to be delivered in 2029.
We received type approval for Germany from ERA in mid-November 2022. The trains are now in passenger service for DB, or some of those are used by Siemens for other approval activities.“