DB has also confirmed that it is planning to order additional intermediate second-class vehicles to lengthen some of the 12-car trains now being delivered to 13 cars.

DB currently has 100 12-car ICE 4 (class 412.0) and 19 seven-car sets (class 412.2) on order from Siemens. Around 20 of the 12-car trains have now been delivered and are in use on Hamburg - Stuttgart and Hamburg - Munich services.

From December, DB will step up ICE 4 operation to include both the Berlin - Munich (via Leipzig/Erfurt) and Dortmund - Munich (via Cologne, Frankfurt and Stuttgart) routes.

ICE 1 refurbishment underway

DB has also launched a third refurbishment programme for the oldest class 401 ICE 1 trains, which were built between 1989 and 1993. These will be rebuilt as nine-car sets (with three first class and five second class coaches plus a restaurant car) and a power car at each end.

The rebuilt trains are expected to enter service on the Berlin - Braunschweig - Frankfurt route and remain in service into the mid-2030s.

The ICE 1 fleet previously underwent a full-scale refurbishment and overhaul between 2005 and 2008.

DB currently intends to withdraw the more modern ICE 2 (class 402) and ICE-T (class 411/415) trains over the next decade as ICE 4 deliveries replace them.