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The new ICE depot in Cottbus to be opened soon

posted on 29th Dec 2023 18:13

Work is underway on a new depot for the ICE maintenance in Cottbus. Two new halls - one double-track and one quadruple-track - will be built in the area of the traditional railway workshops near the main station.

Construction of the first hall began with a groundbreaking ceremony in May 2022 after the EBA issued a building permit for it. Construction of the depot has been split into two phases so that it can start operations as soon as possible due to the rapidly growing ICE 4 fleet. The double-track hall will not only offer initial capacity, but can also train existing and future employees and test new technologies that could also be applied in the second hall.

The new depot in Cottbus is being built for two reasons. As part of its Starke Schiene (Strong Rail) strategy, DB is to increase the number of long-distance passengers to 260 million per year by 2030, roughly double the 2019 target set by the German government to combat climate change. That is why DB is, among other things, expanding its ICE fleet and therefore necessarily also its repair capacity.

The second reason is the support for the Lausitz region through compensation for the cessation of coal mining under the Structural Reinforcement Act (Strukturstärkungsgesetz). The construction of the depot is being financed on the basis of the 'Coal Regions Investment Act' (Investitionsgesetz Kohleregionen), by which the Federal and Land governments support the regions affected by the phasing-out of coal mining, i. e. the regions in Brandenburg, Freistaat Sachsen, Sachsen-Anhalt and Nordrhein-Westfalen. 

New, promising jobs and new economic structures are being created in these areas, for which a total of around 1 billion EUR is expected to be spent. One such project concerns the Cottbus depot. At the same time, it is planned to modernise existing depots so that they can also overhaul hybrid locomotives. In total, the Cottbus works will become DB's largest maintenance centre and will create around 1,200 new jobs, including apprenticeships, by 2029.

The four-track shed will be 526 m long and 200 m wide at its widest point and is due to open in 2026.The new depot for ICE will include maintenance and overhaul of IS 600 and IS 700 stages, including replacement of bogies and wheelsets, repair of couplings, pantographs, brakes, ATPs, doors, etc. The described steps will thus fulfil the vision of the whole project "Railways coming, coal going".

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