German railway company Deutsche Bahn (DB) and Spanish rolling stock manufacturer Talgo have unveiled designs for long-distance trains.
With the working title of ECx, the trains are scheduled to enter service in 2023, replacing the older fleet of Intercity-1 vehicles.
Initially, the ECx trains will operate on the international route between Berlin and Amsterdam.
From 2024, the vehicles will be introduced on multiple domestic routes, including Westerland–Cologne, Westerland–Frankfurt–Karlsruhe, Westerland–Berlin and Oberstdorf–Cologne.
The introduction of the trains is expected to reduce the journey time between Berlin and Amsterdam by nearly half an hour to 5 hours and 50 minutes.
Last month, DB signed an agreement with Talgo for up to 100 trainsets, with an initial order of 23 units valuing €550m. Talgo secured the contract through a European public bidding procedure.
Each of the ECx trainsets will comprise one multi-system locomotive and 17 passenger cars. These passenger cars can also be coupled with a diesel locomotive.
Capable of running at a top speed of 230kph, the trains will feature 570 seats.
The ECx vehicles will be equipped with Wi-Fi systems and on-board entertainment to improve passenger experience.
They will also have real-time information monitors in entryways and seating areas.
The passengers can board these trains from standard platforms without the need for any stairs, thereby increasing convenience for wheelchairs users.
Furthermore, each of the ECx units will feature a separate area for families, with a play area for children.