More than 500 passengers were evacuated from the train due to the fire, which destroyed one car and damaged two adjacent vehicles. Infrastructure was also extensively damaged resulting in the closure of the line and the diversion of services via the conventional Rhine Valley Line through Koblenz and Mainz, which added up to 80 minutes to journey times.
The high-speed line reopened on October 20, with limited service a twice-hourly due to a single line working around the fire-damaged section. DB says it is currently working on implementing individual improvements for passengers between Montabaur and Cologne as early as November 5.
DB says it will initially rehabilitate 60m of heavily damaged track where the ICE caught fire, before routing traffic along the new track while it renews 14m of adjacent track. DB says the work should be completed by November 18 allowing the reintroduction of the regular timetable with limited delays. Normal services will resume in early December.
DB says it is continuing to assist the authorities with the investigation into the cause of the fire, but says further work is needed, including the examination of individual parts in a laboratory which may take several weeks.