Germany's national railway to buy high-speed Siemens trains for 1 bln euros

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BERLIN, July 15 (Xinhua) -- Germany's state-owned railway company Deutsche Bahn (DB) has ordered high-speed trains worth one billion euros (1.14 billion U.S. dollars) from technology giant Siemens, the two German companies said on Wednesday.

The first of the 30 new high-speed trains from the ICE series are scheduled to be in operation by the end of 2022, the companies announced.

"DB is investing in new trains at a record level," said Richard Lutz, chief executive officer (CEO) of Deutsche Bahn. "Even though demand has sharply declined due to the corona pandemic, everything speaks in favor of climate-friendly rail transport for the longer term."

The trains would initially run on routes between Germany's most populous state of North Rhine-Westphalia and Munich via the high-speed Cologne-Rhine-Main line and would increase the company's daily passenger capacity on these long-distance routes by 13,000 seats, according to DB.

The new ICE trains, manufactured at Siemens plants in North Rhine-Westphalia, Bavaria as well as in Austria, will have 440 seats and a top speed of 320 kilometers per hour, according to Deutsche Bahn.

DB noted that the ICE trains will offer "greater comfort and convenience" with features like frequency-transparent windows, which ensure stable mobile phone reception.

At the beginning of the year, the German government and Deutsche Bahn agreed on an 86-billion-euro modernization program to improve train infrastructure in Germany over the next ten years.

German Minister of Transport Andreas Scheuer said on Wednesday that the new ICE trains would make rail travel more attractive. The high-performance high-speed trains, along with modern rail infrastructure, are a "key prerequisite for increasing the frequency of nationwide rail service." (1 euro = 1.14 U.S. dollars) Enditem

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