TS18: ICE ICE Baby
Main photograph above, copyright 1304stephan.
To compliment the upcoming Mannheim – Frankfurt Railway, which shall be an extension to the Rhine Railway, we have new traction in the works, the New ICE 3.
Classified as the DB BR 407, the New ICE 3 is a development of the Siemens Velaro family, which is widely used throughout Europe, China and even Russia. Changes to crashworthiness and interoperability requirements meant that the ICE 3 base needed a redesign.
Specifically, the ICE 3M was to be redesigned, as Deutsche Bahn was looking to procure a new fleet of speed trainsets that are capable of international travel, allowing more connections across mainland Europe to the likes of France, the Netherlands, and Belgium. It was anticipated that the new fleet would also be more efficient than any ICE before it, while still achieving a top speed of 320 km/h (200 mph).
Construction of the new trains, which were given the sub-family name of ‘Velaro D’ (D for Deutschland), started in 2009 with the first train unveiled to the public the following year, boasting quite a unique and stylish profile, and a lot of promise. In practice, they were faced with consistent delivery delays, but once in service, lived up to their potential.
Each trainset consists of 8 coaches and can sit a total of 460 people, but running two units in coupled formation easily doubles capacity on key routes. Their roofs are equipped with multiple pantographs, so the units can draw overhead power from multiple electrification types ensuring seamless cross-border use; to aid in this, multiple signalling systems are also built in as-standard.
While the fleet is relatively small, with only 17 New ICE 3s currently in service, the re-developed Velaro has been ordered for use elsewhere – 7 were ordered for high speed services in Turkey, entering service in 2015, and perhaps the most notable order came in the form of the Velaro e320, for use by Eurostar, making them a frequent sight in London and Kent along High Speed 1. The e320s (classified as the BR Class 374) are a mammoth 16-cars long (about 1/4 of a mile), and allow more diverse destinations from the UK’s capital, and as the Velaro is now authorised to cross the Channel Tunnel, DB also have plans to open routes such as London – Cologne in the future utilising their new ICE 3s.
For Train Simulator, the DB BR 407 ‘New ICE 3’ model has been constructed by Master Key Simulations, so it definitely looks the part, and the ‘under the hood’ work will grant it a position in the Pro Range. The DB BR 407 will be resplendent in the DB ICE livery, and will release with scenarios for the upcoming Mannheim – Frankfurt Railway route.
We can’t wait to show off the DB BR 407 as it looks in game, for now though, here’s a look at a stunning clay render of the model; you can see just how sleek this modern traction is.