German rolling stock and rail manufacturer Siemens Mobility and Germany’s public rail provider Deutsche Bahn (DB) have celebrated the completion of its new ICE (Inter-City Express) order with an elaborate naming ceremony in Berlin. 

The 137th, and final, train delivered was celebrated at Berlin Hauptbahnhof, a stone’s throw from the river Spree and national parliament the Bundestag. 

The train was named “Spree” in a “christening” with water from the famous waterway. 

It was attended by Richard Lutz, CEO of DB, Volker Wissing, Federal Minister for Digital Affairs and Transport, Manja Schreiner, Senator for Mobility, Transport, Climate Protection and the Environment in Berlin, Michael Peterson, DB Member of the Management Board for Long Distance Passenger Transport, and Roland Busch, CEO of Siemens.

Manufacturer Siemens Mobility has delivered 137 ICE 4 trains in three different variants since 2016 – totalling over 1,500 cars with around 105,000 seats, according to DB. It is the provider’s largest ever procurement deal. 

The locomotives will operate on the extensive high-speed rail network, mainly between Berlin and North Rhine-Westphalia, and Frankfurt and southern Germany and Austria – with services to Munich, Salzburg and Klagenfurt. 

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At 400 trainsets, the ICE fleet is now at its largest ever size. 

Federal transport minister Volker Wissing said the growth was needed to counter delays and growing customer dissatisfaction with DB’s services. 

“Modernizing the fleet is a key element in minimizing disruptions. By 2030, around 12 billion euros will therefore be invested in new long-distance trains, the ICE fleet will grow to 450 ICE trains and the average age of ICE and Intercity trains will fall from 18 to 12 years. 

In combination with the general refurbishment of the network, all the signs point to improvement,” he said. 

Siemens CEO Busch declared: “The punctual delivery of the last ICE 4 marks a great joint success for Deutsche Bahn and Siemens. As the longest train in the ICE fleet, the ICE 4 has around 25% more seats. And since it is lighter and more aerodynamic, it uses 30% less energy than previous models. Over its lifetime, each train replaces 20,000 cars and saves up to 400,000 tons of CO2.

“Every ICE in service is good for the climate, for mobility, and for Germany’s position as a location for industry and business. My special thanks go to the teams at DB, Siemens, and our partners for this great achievement.”