Germany’s new generation of intercity trains have entered regular passenger service.
Five ICE 4 trains are now in service between Hamburg and Munich and Hamburg and Stuttgart after completing a year-long period of testing.
By next summer, there will be nine ICE 4 trains in service. This will increase to 119 trains by 2023.
In December 2018, the ICE 4 will go into operation on the new Berlin-Munich corridor.
The new fleet, which began regular service on December 10, is being built by Siemens and will be supplied in 12 and seven-car formations.
Deutsche Bahn (DB) has described the ICE 4 as the “backbone” of its expanding long-distance service. By 2030, DB hopes to have increased the number of long-distance services it offers by 25 per cent.
Birgit Bohle, chairwoman of the management board of DB Fernverkehr AG, said: “The ICE 4 is the new flagship for our long-distance routes and sets standards for our passengers: Plenty of storage space for luggage, an elegant restaurant and an innovative lighting concept ensure a high level of comfort for passengers.
“This is the first ICE on which passengers can take their bicycles. Thanks to a completely revamped family area and parent-and-child compartment, we’re making journeys even more relaxing for families.”