THE European Union Agency for Railways (ERA) has granted Siemens Mobility the Authorisation to Place on the Market (Apom) that will enable the Velaro D MS high-speed train to enter service with German Rail (DB).

DB ordered 30 multi-voltage Velaro high-speed trains from Siemens in 2020 under a framework agreement for up to 90 trains. An additional 43 were ordered in 2022 and a further 17 in May 2023. Deliveries are due to be completed in 2028 under orders worth a total of €3.1bn.

Designated as the class 408 or ICE 3neo by DB, the eight-car train has a maximum speed of 320km/h and seats 439 passengers. It has been approved for operation in Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium, and can take traction current at 15kV 16.6Hz ac, 25kV 50Hz ac, 1.5kV dc and 3 kV dc.

The class 408 has a power rating of 8MW and can operate at up to 230km/h under dc electrification.

As well as ETCS Level 2 Baseline 3, the class 408 has been equipped with Specific Transmission Modules for operating under legacy Class B signalling systems in Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany.

Although originally due to enter service in December 2023, the class 408 is now expected be deployed from mid-June 2024 on services from Frankfurt am Main and Cologne to Brussels Midi operated in conjunction with Belgian National Railways (SNCB).

Netherlands Railways (NS) is DB’s partner on the route from Frankfurt and Cologne to Amsterdam Central, where the new fleet will replace DB and NS class 406 multi-system ICE 3 high-speed trains.

In March DB’s long-distance passenger business awarded NS subsidiary Nedtrain a contract to maintain the class 408 fleet at its Amsterdam Watergraafsmeer facility already used by the ICE 3 trains. The contract starts on June 15 and expires on December 31 2027.

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