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High-speed rail in Germany: Wikis

  
  
  

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3rd Generation ICE, the newest high-speed trains in Germany

Construction on the first German high-speed lines began shortly after that of the French LGVs (lignes à grande vitesse, high speed lines). Legal battles caused significant delays, so that the InterCityExpress (ICE) trains were deployed ten years after the TGV network was established. The ICE network is more tightly integrated with pre-existing lines and trains as a result of the different settlement structure in Germany, which has almost twice the population density of France. ICE trains reached destinations in Austria and Switzerland soon after they entered service, taking advantage of the same voltage used in these countries. Starting in 2000, multisystem third-generation ICE trains entered the Netherlands and Belgium. The third generation of the ICE has a service speed of 330 km/h (205 mph) and has reached speeds up to 363 km/h (226 mph).

Admission of ICE trains onto French LGVs was applied for in 2001, and trial runs completed in 2005. Since 2008, ICEs service Paris from Frankfurt and Saarbrücken via the LGV Est.

Unlike the TGV in France or Shinkansen in Japan, Germany has experienced a fatal accident on a high-speed service. In the Eschede train disaster, a first generation ICE experienced catastrophic wheel failure while travelling 200 km/h near Eschede, following complaints of excessive vibration. Of 287 passengers aboard 101 people died and 80 were injured in the resulting derailment. Following the crash, all ICE wheels of the faulty design were redesigned and replaced.

Since 1997 Thalys trains are running in Germany, from Belgian HSL 3 to Aachen and Cologne (using Cologne–Aachen high-speed railway). Since 2007 TGV POS trains are running in Germany to Karlsruhe and Stuttgart (using Mannheim–Stuttgart high-speed railway and Karlsruhe–Basel high speed line.

Transrapid

Germany has developed the Transrapid, a magnetic levitation train system. The Transrapid reaches speeds up to 550 km/h (340 mph). A test track with a total length of 31.5 km (19.5 mi) is operating in Emsland. In China, Shanghai Maglev Train, a Transrapid technology based maglev built in collaboration with Siemens, Germany, has been operational since March 2004.

List of high-speed lines

ICE network
  • red: High-speed lines for 300 km/h (186 mph)
  • orange: High-speed lines for 250 to 280  km/h (156 to 175 mph)
  • blue: Upgraded lines, 200 to 230 km/h (125 to 145 mph)
  • grey: Other lines, max. 160 km/h (100 mph)







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