Deutsche Bahn confirms ICE 4 wheel defects
Deutsche Bahn has ordered Siemens Mobility to do an extra review of a total of 800 wheelsets of new ICE 4 high-speed trains in use. DB technicians encountered abnormalities during maintenance checks, confirmed a DB spokesperson. The extra check round should be completed by summer.
All the defects that were found are reportedly in new trains delivered in or since 2020, according to several German news media. The wheels are under warranty of Siemens Mobility, working together with its lead subcontractor Bombardier Transportation (now Alstom).
A spokesperson of Deutsche Bahn said: “We confirm that we are having the manufacturer of the ICE 4 trains (general contractor Siemens Mobility) carry out another complete and more stringent ultrasonic test of a total of 800 wheelsets. Our technicians had found abnormalities on individual wheels (material inclusions) that did not meet DB’s quality requirements.”
Review completed by summer
It is emphasised by the spokesperson that the additional quality check has no effect for customers of DB. The review process will be largely completed by the summer. The German supervisory authority (Eisenbahn-Bundesamt) has already been informed, they said.
The first ICE 4 trains have been in trial operation since early 2017 and will gradually replace the Intercity and Eurocity fleets built between 1971 and 1991. The most recent was delivered in 2020. Deutsche Bahn has ordered a total of 137 ICE 4 trains from Siemens Mobility since May 2011. A new ICE 4 train is joining DB’s mainline fleet around every three weeks. By last December, Siemens Mobility had delivered 65 of the ordered ICE 4 trains to Deutsche Bahn. Deutsche Bahn has also awarded Siemens Mobility a contract for the revision of 40 ICE 4 trains in January.