DB will immediately order 130 of the trains, with an order for an additional 90 trains planned. DB has an option for a further 80 trains which can be exercised at any time until 2030. Siemens was selected as the preferred bidder for the contract in January 2010, but reported differences over the cost of the trains delayed the signing of the deal by almost a year.
"With the ICx we are laying the cornerstone for long-distance transport of the future and setting new standards in terms of reliability, environmental compatibility and comfort," says DB CEO Dr Rüdiger Grube. "The rail system will benefit as a result and our customers can look forward to riding on the most modern trains in the world."
Two variants of the ICx will be built with the first trains set to enter service in 2016. The first variant is a seven-car train, which includes three powered cars and has 499 seats. With a top speed of 230km/h, ICx will replace locomotive-hauled trains used on Germany's inter-city routes where speeds in the main do not exceed 200km/h.
The second variant will replace DB's ICE 1 and ICE 2 fleet which operate at 250km/h. This 10-car train includes up to five powered cars, has 724 seats and a top speed of 249km/h. Both variants will include a restaurant car with either 17 or 23 seats, as well as a bistro, standing area and room for bicycle storage.
To aid production, Siemens has agreed a framework contract with Bombardier to produce the ICx, with Bombardier set to supply the body shells as well as trailer bogies. The company will also assemble all of the end coaches and some intermediate coaches, with its share of the contract for the 220 trains worth Euros 2.1bn.
Due to its aerodynamic design, the ICx has significantly less running resistance than existing ICE trains, while the weight of a 200m-long train has been reduced by 20 tonnes. Energy consumption per passenger is as a result up to 30% lower than existing comparable trains.
"The energy efficiency and modularity of these new vehicles offers unrivalled economical operation, while the flexible interior structure will provide a new level of comfort for passengers," says Siemens CEO Mr Peter Löscher.
As part of an extensive testing period before series production begins, two ICx trains will go through 14 months of trial operation, 12 of which will be in passenger service, to identify potential improvements. DB and Siemens have also agreed to define joint milestones in the design and production phase that must be unanimously approved.