State-owned German rail operator Deutsche Bahn (DB) has selected Siemens AG as the preferred bidder for a €6bn ($8.5bn) contract to supply 300 trains.

According to DB, the order is its biggest-ever investment in vehicles and is part of its plans to renew its entire ageing high-speed InterCity trains fleet.

A new model of locomotives called ICX are set to replace the existing fleet from 2015 onwards.

Final negotiations are underway and DB plans to push the tender process forward quickly in the next few months.