The ICE 3neo trains are based on Siemens’ proven ICE 3 platform. Credit: Deutsche Bahn AG/Georg Wagner.
The new ICE train has 439 seats. Credit: Siemens.
The first ICE 3neo is scheduled to enter service in December 2022. Credit: Siemens.
The train features 99 seats in the first class. Credit: Deutsche Bahn AG/Siemens/Andreas Hackl .

The ICE 3neo (Velaro MS) high-speed train, based on the proven ICE 3 platform, was unveiled by Siemens at its ICE plant in Berlin-Rummelsburg in February 2022.

The first train was built in a record-breaking 12 months, which was faster than any previous ICE train type.

The first ICE 3neo train entered passenger service in December 2022.

ICE 3neo train design and features

The ICE 3neo train incorporates various features from its predecessors to improve passenger comfort, capacity and quality. The train has 439 seats, with 99 seats in first class and 340 in second class, as well as 16 seats in the on-board restaurant. The train also has 16 seats in the family section and five in the toddler section.

The train travels at a top speed of 320km/h and weighs 460t when empty. The train measures 400m in double traction.

Each train has space for two wheelchairs and eight bicycle spaces. It features 12 boarding doors on each side of the train, one of which is wheelchair accessible, enabling quicker boarding and alighting at stations. The train also features a power lift, enabling easy access for wheelchair users.

ICE 3neo train interiors

The ICE 3neo trains are fitted with frequency-permeable glass windowpanes, which allow improved mobile phone reception inside the train.

The glass windows of earlier ICE trains were coated with a thin layer of heat-insulating metal, which provided protection from sunlight but made it difficult for mobile phone waves to pass through. The ICE 3neo trains feature a fine grid lasered into the metal layer on the glass, allowing mobile phone signals to enter the train more easily.

The train is equipped with non-contact soap and disinfectant dispensers, as well as interior lighting that changes colour tone depending on the time of day. Each seat in both first and second class is equipped with a power socket, tablet holders and a hook for coats. Luggage racks have also been redesigned to provide more space for bags.

Orders and deliveries

Deutsche Bahn (DB) ordered 30 new ICE high-speed trains worth €1bn ($1.13bn) from Siemens Mobility in July 2020. The order included an option for an additional 60 ICE trains.

Siemens is building the new trains at its manufacturing plants in North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW), Bavaria and Austria. The new trains will initially operate on the high-speed Cologne to Rhine/Main Valley line between NRW and southern Germany.

DB signed a follow-up order with Siemens for 43 new ICE 3neo high-speed trains, worth approximately €1.5bn, in February 2022. The trainsets are expected to be delivered between 2026 and 2029. The new order increases DB’s ICE 3neo fleet to 73 trains and enables the operator to increase its daily long-distance capacity by 32,000 seats.

In May 2023, DB ordered 17 ICE 3neo trains worth €600m from Siemens Mobility. The order will increase DB’s ICE 3neo fleet to 90 trains. The trains will be manufactured at Siemens Mobility’s Krefeld plant and delivered by August 2028.

DB’s ICE fleet is expected to increase to approximately 450 trains by the end of the decade. The fleet expansion aligns with DB’s strategy to offer sustainable travel to more people while maintaining punctuality and providing better service.

The fleet increase will also enable DB to meet the requirements for the synchronised timetable-based expansion of rail infrastructure in the country, also called Deutschlandtakt, planned for 2030. Deutschlandtakt will provide reliable local, long-distance and freight rail connections across the country, as well as systematic expansion of rail infrastructure.

Contractors involved

Braking systems manufacturer Knorr-Bremse was contracted to supply braking systems for 43 ICE 3neo trains in July 2022. The braking systems will be delivered between 2024 and 2027 and feature Knorr-Bremse’s PistonSupply Eco oil-free compressors.

Knorr-Bremse will also supply pressure-tight doors through the company’s IFE brand, a provider of rail car entrance systems.