ICE Intercity Express Differences in Train Layouts

ICE Intercity Express - C

ICE Differences in Train Layouts
  • ICE (generally): Pale grey livery with red stripe and convoluted rubber gaiters between carriages (distinctive from all other DB trains)
  • Black window band with oval door windows except in ICE 4 (distinctive from Intercity / Metropolitan cars)
  • Wheels-on-rails technology (distinctive from the Transrapid)
  • ICE 1: Two power heads and up to 14 intermediate cars; restaurant car with high roof; nose with DB logo that interrupts red stripe (unique to the ICE 1); maximum speed is 280 km/h (174 mph).
  • ICE 2: One power head and one driving van trailer accessible to passengers; BordRestaurant/Bistro car has same height as other cars; contrary to ICE 1: nose is vertically divisible, parts of the coupler protruding to the outside; maximum speed is 280 km/h (174 mph).
  • ICE 3: No power heads, but an EMU: end cars with rounded windshield and passenger lounge, unpowered transformer car with pantograph; maximum speed of 320 km/h (199 mph), red stripe is interrupted at the end cars by ICE logo, then runs downwards and across the nose lid; window band becomes narrow and ends near the windshield.
  • ICE 4: No power heads, unpowered transformer car with pantograph; maximum speed of 265 km/h (165 mph), no oval door windows; red stripe running downwards and across the nose lid; window band becomes narrow and ends near the windshield.
  • ICE T/ICE TD: Similar to ICE 3, except: steeper front; pantograph; maximum speed of 230 km/h (143 mph); no ICE logo on end coaches (ICE T)/ aerodynamic cover on end cars; maximum speed of 200 km/h (124 mph), ICE logo on the left side of the end coaches (ICE TD); red stripe stays straight; red stripe ends near the lamps; windows narrows to a point instead of a flat end as on the ICE 3
  • ICE T2: Like ICE T series 1, except: painted sheet metal instead of glass between windows, front lamps with LEDs
  • ICE V: Violet, wide stripe runs deeper than on newer stock and does not continue over the nose lid; Deutsche Bundesbahn logo and preliminary ICE logo; clad rubber gaiters; power heads larger than intermediate cars and with rounder front; front hedge ICE 2-like since 1995
  • ICE S: ICE logo with additional letter "S" in white; most have only one intermediate coach; high-voltage lines between carriages; maximum speed is 330 km/h (205 mph)
ICE Trainset Numbers

While every car in an ICE train has its own unique registration number, the trains usually remain coupled as fixed trainsets for several years. For easier reference, each has been assigned a trainset number that is printed over each bogie of every car. These numbers usually correspond with the registration numbers of the powerheads or cab cars.
  • ICE 1: Tz 01 to 20 traction motors use thyristor frequency converters
  • Tz 51 to 71 traction motors use GTO frequency converters
  • Tz 72 to 90 GTO control, fitted for service into Intercity Express Switzerland
  • ICE 2: Tz 201 to 244
  • ICE 3: Tz 301 to 337 first series
  • Tz 351 to 367 second series
  • ICE 3M: Tz 4601 to 4613 7 trainsets, numbers intermittent
  • Tz 4651 to 4654 owned by Nederlandse Spoorwegen (NS)
  • ICE 3MF: Tz 4680 to 4684 refitted for service into Intercity Express France
  • ICE 3MF: Tz 4685 refitted for service into France, and the United Kingdom via the Channel Tunnel
  • ICE T: Tz 1101 to 1132 first series
  • 7 cars Tz 1151 to 1178 second series
  • Tz 1180 to 1184 refitted for service into Switzerland
  • Tz 1190 to 1192 sold to ÖBB
  • ICE T: Tz 1501 to 1506
  • 5 cars Tz 1520 to 1524 originally fitted for service into Switzerland, cab cars switched with Tz 1180 to 1184
  • ICE TD: Tz 5501 to 5520
ICE Interior Equipment

The ICE trains adhere to a high standard of technology: all cars are fully air-conditioned and nearly every seat features a headphone jack which enables the passenger to listen to several on-board music and voice programmes as well as several radio stations. Some seats in the 1st class section (in some trains also in 2nd class) are equipped with video displays showing movies and pre-recorded infotainment programmes. Each train is equipped with special cars that feature in-train repeaters for improved mobile phone reception as well as designated quiet zones where the use of mobile phones is discouraged. The newer ICE 3 trains also have larger digital displays in all coaches, displaying, among other things, Deutsche Bahn advertising, the predicted arrival time at the next destination and the current speed of the train.

The ICE 1 was originally equipped with a passenger information system based on BTX, however this system was eventually taped over and removed in the later refurbishment. The ICE 3 trains feature touch screen terminals in some carriages, enabling travellers to print train timetables. The system is also located in the restaurant car of the ICE 2.

The ICE 1 fleet saw a major overhaul between 2005 and 2008, supposed to extend the lifetime of the trains by another 15 to 20 years. Seats and the interior design were adapted to the ICE 3 design, electric sockets were added to every seat, the audio and video entertainment systems were removed and electronic seat reservation indicators were added above the seats. The ICE 2 trains have been undergoing the same procedure since 2010.

ICE 2 trains feature electric sockets at selected seats, ICE 3 and ICE T trains have sockets at nearly every seat.

The ICE 3 and ICE T are similar in their interior design, but the other ICE types differ in their original design. The ICE 1, the ICE 2 and seven-car ICE T (Class 411) are equipped with a full restaurant car. The five-car ICE T (Class 415) and ICE 3 however, have been designed without a restaurant, they feature a bistro coach instead. Since 1 October 2006, smoking is prohibited in the bistro coaches, similar to the restaurant cars, which have always been non-smoking.

All trains feature a toilet for disabled passengers and wheelchair spaces. The ICE 1 and ICE 2 have a special conference compartment whilst the ICE 3 features a compartment suitable for small children. The ICE 3 and ICE T omit the usual train manager's compartment and have an open counter named "ServicePoint" instead.

An electronic display above each seat indicates the locations between which the seat has been reserved. Passengers without reservations are permitted to take seats with a blank display or seats with no reservation on the current section.

ICE Maintenance

The maintenance schedule of the trains is divided into seven steps:
  • 1. Every 4,000 kilometres, an inspection taking about 1½ hours is undertaken. The waste collection tanks are emptied and fresh water tanks are refilled. Acute defects (e.g. malfunctioning doors) are rectified. Safety tests are also conducted. These include checking the pantograph pressure, cleaning and checking for fissures in the rooftop insulators, inspecting transformers and checking the pantograph's current collector for wear. The wheels are also checked in this inspection.
  • 2. Every 20,000 kilometres, a 2½ hour inspection is conducted, called Nachschau. In this inspection, the brakes, the Linienzugbeeinflussung systems and the anti-lock brakes are checked.
  • 3. After 80,000 kilometres, the train undergoes the Inspektionsstufe 1. During the two modules, each lasting eight hours, the brakes receive a thorough check, as well as the air conditioning and the kitchen equipment. The batteries are checked, as well as the seats and the passenger information system.
  • 4. Once the train has reached 240,000 kilometres, the Inspektionsstufe 2 mandates a check of the electric motors, the bearings and the driveshafts of the bogies and the couplers. This inspection is usually carried out in two modules taking eight hours each.
  • 5. About once a year (when reaching 480,000 km), the Inspektionsstufe 3 takes place, at three times eight hours each. In addition to the other checkup phases, it includes checks on the pneumatics systems, and the transformer cooling. Maintenance work is performed inside the passenger compartment.
  • 6. The 1st Revision is carried out after 1.2 million km. It includes a thorough check of all components of the train and is carried out in two five-day segments.
  • 7. The seventh and final step is the 2nd Revision, which happens when reaching 2.4 million kilometres. The bogies are exchanged for new ones and many components of the train are disassembled and checked. This step also takes two five-day segments.
Maintenance on the ICE trains is carried out in special ICE workshops located in Basel, Berlin, Cologne, Dortmund, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Leipzig and Munich. The train is worked upon at up to four levels at a time and fault reports are sent to the workshops in advance by the on-board computer system to minimize maintenance time.

ICE Overview

Locale: Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, Austria, Switzerland and France. Formerly Denmark.
Dates of Operation: 1985-present
Track Gauge: 1,435mm Standard gauge
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