The approval covers the operation of the eight-car 320km/h trains singly or in multiple on the DB network.

Siemens says it has delivered four of the 16 sets on order, with a further four due for delivery in spring 2014. As the trains were ordered for international services, the remaining eight trains will be allocated to trials in France and Belgium.

DB ordered 15 class 407 sets from Siemens in a €500m contract, which was signed in December 2008. A further train was subsequently ordered in 2010 to replace an accident-damaged ICE3MF set. The first trains were due to be introduced on services from Frankfurt to southern France in December 2011.

"We're cooperating with DB, SNCF, the EBA, and and the corresponding French and Belgian authorities to obtain approval – which has not yet been granted – for the trains' cross-border deployment," says Mr Jochem Eickholt, CEO of Siemens Rail Systems. "However, we're also dependent in this connection on a number of suppliers. In order to accelerate these processes in the future, we have to achieve harmonisation with respect to technology and approval in Europe as quickly as possible."