A presentation ceremony was held at Berlin Central Station to premiere Deutsche Bahn’s ICE 4 high-speed train.
The event coincided with an announcement from Germany’s Federal Railway Authority approving the train for commercial operation, which kicks off a 14-month trial period.
Initially two trains will operate on the line linking Munich and Hamburg.
Subject to a successful introductory phase, the ICE 4 will enter regular commercial service in December 2017.
Jochen Eickholt, chief executive of Siemens Mobility Division, said: “With today’s approval of operations and series homologation, we have met our timetable for the ICE 4 exactly to the day.
“That is a fantastic feat in view of the project’s scope. We are proud to have achieved this with the participating partners.”
Dr Rüdiger Grube, chairman of the management board and chief executive officer of DB, described the train as “the backbone of our future long-distance transport system”.
Long-distance rail services are expected to grow by 25 per cent by 2030, he said, connecting more cities and regions than ever before.
DB says the 12-car ICE 4 trains will consume 22 per cent less energy than the ICE 1 fleet. It’s traction system, which uses power cars, also allows it a flexible train formation.