The ICx programme was launched several years ago with the aim of
replacing DB's remaining long-distance locomotive-hauled trains, and an
order for between 100 and 130 trains was originally envisaged. However,
the programme has since been expanded to cover the longer-term
replacement of the 59 ICE 1 trains supplied between 1989 and 1993, and
46 ICE2 sets delivered between 1995 and 1997.

Three configurations have been proposed: short train with 500-550
seats, a medium-length train (630-700 seats) and a long train with
730-810 seats. The first 230-250km/h trains are expected to be
delivered in the middle of the decade and will replace
locomotive-hauled trains on domestic and international services. These
will be followed by a variant capable of at least 280km/h, which will
succeed the ICE1 and ICE2 in 2020 and 2025 respectively.

The tender for the new trains was launched in mid-2008 and the 300-page
document lists 8900 separate technical requirements to be met by the
supplier. Furthermore, the entire development cost of the ICx will be
met by the industry.

DB has not confirmed whether the new train will be configured as an emu
or as a locomotive and coaches, similar to the Railjet currently being
supplied by Siemens to Austrian Federal Railways (ÖBB).