ICE 4 (Deutsche Bahn)

ICE 4 is a brand name for long-distance Intercity-Express high-speed trains being procured for Deutsche Bahn.

DB ICE 4 train at Nuremberg Hbf
ManufacturerSiemens, Bombardier as subcontractor , Voith
Built atWrocław (Body shells),

Graz (Bogies),

Krefeld (Electronics),

Hennigsdorf (Cabs)
ReplacedICE 1
Number built220 trainsets ordered (80 on option)
FormationK1n: 7 cars (3M, 4T)
K3s: 12 cars (6M, 6T)
Capacity499 (K1n)
724 (K3s, 10-car)
830 (K3, 12-car)[1]
Operator(s)DB Fernverkehr
Train lengthK1n: 202 m (662 ft 8 34 in)
K3s: 288 m (944 ft 10 58 in)
Car lengthDriving car: 28.6 m (93 ft 10 in)
Intermediate car: 27.9 m (91 ft 6 38 in)
Width2,642 to 2,852 mm (8 ft 8 in to 9 ft 4 14 in) (internal/external)
Platform height550 to 760 mm (21.7 to 29.9 in) ARL
Maximum speedK1n: 230 kilometres per hour (145 mph)
K3s: 250 kilometres per hour (155 mph)
WeightK1n: 455 t (448 long tons; 502 short tons)
K3s: 659 t (649 long tons; 726 short tons)
Power outputK1n: 4,950 kW (6,640 hp)
K3s: 8,250 kW (11,060 hp)
K3 (12-car): 9,900 kW (13,300 hp)[2]
AccelerationK1n 0.55 m/s2 (1.8 ft/s2)
K3s 0.53 m/s2 (1.7 ft/s2)
Electric system(s)15 kV, 16.7 Hz Overhead line
Current collection methodPantograph
UIC classificationK1n:: 2'2'+Bo'Bo'+2'2'+Bo'Bo'+Bo'Bo'+2'2'+2'2'
K3s: 2′2′+Bo′Bo′+Bo′Bo′+2′2′+Bo′Bo′+Bo′Bo′+2′2′+Bo′Bo′+2′2′+Bo′Bo′+2′2′+2′2′
Safety system(s)ETCS, LZB, PZB
Track gauge1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) standard gauge
Sources: Specifications [3] except where noted

Procurement started around 2008 for replacements for locomotive-hauled InterCity and EuroCity train services, and was later expanded to include replacements for ICE 1 and ICE 2 high-speed trainsets. In 2011 Siemens Mobility was awarded the contract for 130 seven-car intercity train replacements, and 90 ten-car ICE train replacements, plus further options – the contract for the ten-car sets was modified 2013 to expand the trainset length to twelve vehicles. The name ICx was used for the trains during the initial stages of the procurement; in late 2015 the trains were rebranded 'ICE 4', at the unveiling of the first trainset, and given the class designation 412 by Deutsche Bahn.

Two pre-production trainsets have been manufactured by 2016, and were used for testing later that year, prior to introduction of the main series in late 2017.


Contract and manufacture

Around 2008 Deutsche Bahn began the tendering process to replace locomotive/coach trainsets on its long distance subsidiary, DB Fernverkehr's, InterCity and EuroCity train services. The initial announcement suggested that the tender would be for 100 to 130 trainsets. No specific train type was specified and DB did not intend to become involved with the design process - both locomotive-hauled trains such as Railjet or variations on the ICE 3 EMU design were considered to be options. The new trains were to be branded ICX and were expected to be similar in aesthetic design to the ICE3 trains; the design speed was expected to be in the 200 to 250 kilometres per hour (120 to 160 mph) range and to improve upon the energy efficiency of the units it replaced.[4]

The scope of the procurement was later expanded to include replacements for the ICE 1 and ICE 2 trains with a top speed of up to 280 kilometres per hour (170 mph), and the size of the order increased to up to 300 trains. Bids were received from Alstom and Siemens, with the Siemens bid including Bombardier Transportation as a subcontractor. Initial bids made in 2009 were said to be too high by DB, being over €5 billion. In 2010, DB announced that Siemens had been chosen as the preferred bidder for the procurement scheme,[5] and on 9 May 2011 DB and Siemens signed a contract for 130 ICx trains, plus a further 90 trainsets to be formalised at a later date, with an option for a further 80 sets. The trains were to be delivered by 2030, with the value of the 220 train deal estimated at around €6 billion.[6] Siemens' share of the contract for the intercity sets was later reported as being worth €3.7 billion to the company, reported to be the "biggest order in the company's history".[7]

In 2011 Siemens awarded Bombardier Transportation a subcontract for its contribution to the project valued at €2.2 billion, of which €1.3 billion was for the 130 'intercity' trains. Bombardier's contract included aerodynamic optimisation of the design, and supply of the bodyshells - initially expected to come from its Görlitz plant, with driving vehicle assembly to take place at its Hennigsdorf plant, and Flexx Eco bogies manufactured at its plant in Siegen.[6] The change in the initial order from 10 to 12 car ICE replacement trains (170 additional vehicles) resulted in a €336 million increase in the value of Bombardier's order.[8]

Bodyshells are also to be supplied from Bombardier's Wroclaw plant (Poland).[9] In 2015 Bombardier contracted Panattoni Europe to build an additional 18,357 square metres (197,590 sq ft) manufacturing hall for the Wroclaw plant, initially to be used for the construction of the ICx trains.[10]

Faiveley was awarded (late 2011/early 2012) contracts to supply brake equipment, including magnetic track brakes, and electropneumatic brake systems; as well as doors and air conditioning systems for the 130 unit intercity order.[11][12]

Voith was contracted to supply parts of the nose of the trainsets, including GFRP cabin, the nose module and its opening hatches, coupling systems, and snow deflector.[13][14]

Construction of the trainsets was expected to start in 2013, with two pre-production trains delivered by 2016.[6]


The initial contract with Siemens, signed 2011 specified a design allowing flexible train make-up (between 5 and 14 units),[15] with 24 different variants described; each composed of motor cars, and trailer cars. Two main variants were: a seven car, 499 seat trainset with 3 motor cars (K1n) and a top speed of 230 kilometres per hour (140 mph) - these were to replace locomotive hauled trains; the second was a ten car, 724 seat variant with 5 power cars (K3s) and a top speed of 249 kilometres per hour (155 mph), to replace ICE1 and ICE2 trains - the replacements were expected to be 20 tonnes lighter than the trains they replaced, resulting in claimed energy savings of 30%[3][6]

Each trainset was to have a restaurant/bistro car, cycle storage, and a designated 'family area'.[3][6]

The exterior design received a Red Dot design award in 2015.[16]

The K3 trains are to be for Germany, Austria and Switzerland, 12 of the K1 trains are to be operated into the Netherlands.[17]

On 5 March 2013, DB announced that it had approved a 12 car 250 km/h train configuration that would raise capacity over, and replace in the base order, the existing 10 car train - seating capacity would increase from 724 seats to 830 seats. The order was altered in expectation of growing ridership for DB's long distance services.[1]

Introduction, operations, and maintenance

By 2013 DB had selected a site in Nippes, Cologne for a maintenance depot for all of its ICE fleet including future ICx trains.[18]

In April 2015 DB Systemtechnik began climatic testing on the ICx cab and other components.[19] Mainline test runs by DB Systemtechnik began on 25 September 2015.[20]

One pre-series-production trainset was formally unveiled at Berlin Südkreuz on 4 December 2015. The trainsets were re-branded ICE 4 at the same time (see also Intercity-Express), and given the network classification Class 412.[21]

On 16 September 2016, Siemens announced that the ICE 4 had been approved for operation by Federal Railway Authority (Eisenbahn-Bundesamt, EBA). Trial passenger operations commenced on Hamburg - Würzburg - Munich services on 31 October 2016 with full service expected from December 2017.[22]

On 26 September 2018, the DB board approved the purchase of 18 additional seven-car trainsets and 50 individual cars to be added to trainsets then on order.[23]

On 4 April 2019 it was announced that due to problems with the carriage frames of the ICE 4 trains,[24] Deutsche Bahn will not take delivery of any further trains for now. Manufacturers Siemens and Bombardier Transportation have been asked by DB to fix the issues.

See also


  1. "DB approves longer ICx trainsets". Railway Gazette International. 5 March 2013.
  2. The ICx - the new DB platform, Siemens, retrieved 24 September 2015
  3. Siemens factsheet 2011
  4. Rossberg, Ralf Roman (25 September 2008). "DB keeps ICX options open". Railway Gazette International.
  5. "Siemens preferred bidder for ICx inter-city train deal". Railway Gazette International. 25 January 2010.
  6. "DB and Siemens sign ICx contract". Railway Gazette International. 9 May 2011.
  7. "Rail win drives Siemens growth",, 29 December 2011
  8. "Bombardier signs ICx variation order",, 8 April 2013
  9. "Najwiekszy kontrakt w historii giganta. Pudla ICx beda powstawac w Polsce", (in Polish), 17 June 2011
  10. "Bombardier to expand Wroclaw factory",, 24 September 2015
  11. "World rolling stock market November 2011",, 25 November 2011
  12. "World rolling stock market Feb 2012",, 20 February 2012
  13. Front End System Including Nose Flaps ICx, Germany, Voith, retrieved 24 September 2015
  14. "Lightweight rolling stock components",, 10 July 2014
  15. Siemens factsheet 2011, p. 4.
  16. Long-Distance ICx Train Receives Red Dot Design Award (Press Release), Bombardier, 30 June 2015
  17. Siemens factsheet 2011, p. 23.
  18. "News in Brief - January 2013",, 1 January 2013
  19. Barrow, Keith (24 April 2015), "DB Systemtechnik carries out ICx inspections",
  20. "ICx test running begins",, 25 September 2015
  21. "ICx becomes ICE 4",, 7 December 2015
  22. "ICE 4 enters passenger service". International Railway Journal. 1 November 2016.
  23. "More ICE4s ordered as DB spends €1bn on inter-city fleet". Railway Gazette International. 27 September 2018. Retrieved 8 October 2018.
  24. "Deutsche Bahn asks Siemens and Bombardier to fix train quality issues",, 4 April 2019


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