ICE (Germany – Deutsche Bahn)

Main line • High speed Rail • Germany • Deutsche BahnICE

Summary: Acronym of Inter City Express adopted for German high-speed trains. The original aim was to distinguish these high-speed trains from the hourly intercity trains that were the hallmark of Deutsche Bahn’s long-distance services. On 2 June 1991, the ICE high-speed train went into service with 19 ICE1 trainsets between Hamburg and Munich. The only high-speed section was between Hanover and Würzburg, a 327-kilometre line with 63 tunnels and more than 34 bridges. The network then expanded rapidly, with 1,571km of lines now built for speeds of at least 250km/h, putting Germany in fifth place worldwide. Excluding the pandemic, around 100 million passengers a year travelled on ICEs, out of a total of 140 million long-distance passengers. Nearly 200 stations are served by an ICE service in Germany, as well as around fifty in neighbouring countries. 330 trainsets are needed for the daily service. The fleet is based on Siemens technology, and is now in its fourth generation. Internationally, the ICE is used on the Frankfurt-Brussels, Frankfurt-Amsterdam and Frankfurt-Paris routes, as well as in Zurich, Interlaken and Vienna.

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Main line • High speed Rail • Germany • Deutsche Bahn • Lexical