ICE-L rolling stock leaves factory for tests in Poland, Austria and Romania

ICE L on the Bietigheim Viaduct in Germany, hauled in the middle of a freight train Deutsche Bahn via Twitter

The first ICE-L train was on its way to Germany this week, ‘smuggled’ in between a freight train. The Talgo-built rolling stock will undergo performance testing in the coming months in multiple countries and is expected to make its debut for Deutsche Bahn (DB) by the end of 2024.

DB unveiled the ICE-L in September of last year. The new train will be Germany’s first long-distance high-speed train with a low floor for easy access. The ICE-L measures 256 metres in length and comprises 17 train cars, a control car and a multi-system locomotive. It can thus handle more than one electrification system, and run in multiple countries. The train can accommodate 562 seated passengers, 477 of which in the second class. The ICE-L can hit a top speed of 230 kilometres per hour.

According to Michael Peterson, the chief of DB’s passenger division, the new rolling stock will undergo several tests in the coming months. While some cars will be exposed to harsh weather conditions in Vienna’s Rail Tec Arsenal (RTA) climatic wind tunnel, others will undergo approvals at the Żmigród test track in Poland. There, speeds of up to 160 kilometres per hour will be achieved. Later, when tests resume on German tracks, the ICE-L will be pushed to 230 kilometres per hour. The locomotive, meanwhile, is undergoing tests in Romania.

The ICE-L will be fitted with the newly designed ICE-interior, meaning new seats, a better WiFi-signal, improved cell phone reception, more storage space for baggage and bicycles, as well as real-time passenger information. Peterson this week took to social media to also offer train enthusiasts a first glimpse of the 1st Class furniture and the onboard bistro.

Talgo ICE-L for Deutsche Bahn
Michael Peterson took social media to offer train enthusiasts a first glimpse of the 1st Class furniture and onboard bistro

The new ICE-L will make its debut in the long-distance fleet by year-end 2024. The international service between Berlin and Amsterdam will be the first to benefit, followed by the touristic service to the Bavarian town of Oberstdorf and the German coastal hotspot of Sylt in 2026. Talgo is in the process of building 29 train sets for DB. In May, the company ordered another 56 units for a sum of 1.4 billon euros.

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Author: Nick Augusteijn

Former Chief Editor of

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