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Happy Birthday Ice

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by Jo_Kim, May 28, 2021.

  1. Jo_Kim

    Jo_Kim Well-Known Member

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    Today (29th of May 2021) Germany's high-speed rail service, the Intercity-Express, becomes 30 years old. The ICE is an icon for the German railway and for High-Speed Rail in Europe. Let's take a look back at how the ICE came to life and how the system grew over time.


    InterCityExperimental (ICE V):
    On the 26th of November 1985 the prototype for the ICE, the InterCityExperimental, was revealed to the public. The prototype already shared many similarities with the first generation of ICE trains. The propulsion system was heavily based on the BR 120, the first (mass-produced) three-phase locomotive in the world. On the 1st of May 1988, this prototype set a world record for wheel/rail vehicles with a speed of 406.9km/h.
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    SFS Hannover-Würzburg & SFS Mannheim-Stuttgart:
    With a high-speed train, you need a high-speed track. Beginning in 1968 plans were made to enhance travel times between the north and south of Germany. These plans underwent multiple changes throughout the years until the construction was finally started in 1973. The new track was meant to be used with 200km/h and connect the cities of Hannover, Göttingen, Kassel, Fulda and Würzburg together. Whilst in the middle of construction the plans were changed to allow a maximum speed of 250km/h, which luckily didn't need many modifications to the already built sections. The entire line was and still is with a total cost of 11.874 billion DM (6.071 billion €) the most expensive rail project in Germany.
    Today the 327km long line is certified for 280km/h and still is the most important line on the ICE network, with around 110 trains using it every day.

    In parallel to the Hannover-Würzburg line in the south of Germany, the shorter line between Mannheim and Stuttgart was constructed. The reason for this line was mainly not to decrease travel times but to increase capacity since the classic line was overcrowded since the 60s and a new rail line was needed.
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    Start of Service:

    On the 29th of May 1991, the ICE officially started its service with a massive event at the new station of the ICE network: Kassel-Wilhelmshöhe. Five ICE trains coming from Bonn, Hamburg, Mainz, Stuttgart and München all arrived at the station together. At 12 o'clock the President Richard von Weizsäcker set the symbolic departure signal to green. Regular services began a few days later, on the 2nd of June 1991.
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    Eschede:

    On the 3rd of June 1998, ICE 884 derailed with a speed of 200km/h near the village of Eschede in North Germany. Killing 101 and injuring 88, this was the worst rail disaster in the history of high-speed rail traffic.
    The derailment was caused by a broken steel tyre, which shot into the passenger cabin caught onto a switch which then kicked the train from the rails. The coaches then rammed into each other, hitting the supporting pillar of a road bridge which then collapsed onto the wreckage. Caused by an unusual wheel design and multiple human errors this disaster still is a big scar for the German railways and increased safety measurements on the entire network to prevent any similar accidents.
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    ICE 3 & SFS Köln-Rhein/Main:

    In 1999 the ICE 3 entered service. With its revolutionary design and a maximum speed of 330km/h, it started a new era of the ICE. With its distributed propulsion system the ICE 3 is noticeably more open and light than the previous generations. With the multi-voltage variant, the ICE 3M, there also were the first international services outside the DACH countries (Germany (D), Austria (A), Switzerland (CH)).
    In 2001 the line for the ICE 3 was opened. The rail line between Köln and Frankfurt/Main is certified for 300km/h, the fastest on the entire German rail network. Included in the new line was also the new train station at Frankfurt Airport (the largest airport in Germany), which increased the connectivity massively.
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    VDE 8:

    The VDE 8 is the newest high-speed line in Germany. VDE 8 stands for Verkehrsprojekt Deutsche Einheit 8 (Traffic Project German Unity 8) and is part of the massive infrastructure project which started in the early 1990s to reconnect the before separated east and west of Germany. The new line connects Nürnberg, Erfurt, Halle (Saale) and Leipzig with Berlin and is part of the high-speed corridor between München and Berlin. With a total length of 515km, it will be the longest high-speed line in Germany. Most of the line is already finished and in service. The VDE 8 is also the first rail line in Germany which is equipped with the new European Train Control System. ETCS is installed in its Level 2 configuration which is based on a continuous communication between the train and the signal box.
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    With more high-speed lines under construction and a new generation of rolling stock arriving in upcoming years, the ICE is connecting Germany and Central Europe. Its unique solutions set standards in the high-speed sector and have helped many other countries establish their own high-speed network.

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    Related threads:
    Intercity-Express Survey (ICE rolling stock)
    ICE 3M 4601 Special Livery
     
    Last edited: May 30, 2021
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  2. breblimator

    breblimator Well-Known Member

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    I haven't read it yet, but I'll do it at my first free moment. I love such publications. Thanks!
     
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  3. MetrolinkF125#916

    MetrolinkF125#916 Well-Known Member

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    Wow, very interesting! Thanks for posting this, I really learned alot about the ICE today, more than I thought I would.:)
     
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  4. Lamplight

    Lamplight Well-Known Member

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    Great post, Jo_Kim.

    Still the best looking ICE in my opinion :D
     
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  5. driverwoods#1787

    driverwoods#1787 Well-Known Member

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    :) Excellent post here and there's a newer model of ICE3 MS DB BR407.
    Here is a video by train TV in German language 30 years of Inner City Express.
     
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  6. stijn.claessens

    stijn.claessens Active Member

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    Do you say ice or I-C-E?
     
  7. Lamplight

    Lamplight Well-Known Member

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    I-C-E is the only way to say it :D
    Seriously though, before I heard Matt, Sam, and co on stream, it never even occurred to me that ICE (pronounced like frozen water) may be how speakers of English would pronounce it.
     
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  8. Jo_Kim

    Jo_Kim Well-Known Member

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    Last edited: Jun 14, 2021
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  9. Lamplight

    Lamplight Well-Known Member

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