A contract to replace Deutsche Bahn's aging fleet of high-speed, long-distance trains places much of the responsibility for delays and cost overruns on the manufacturer, Siemens.
The new ICx trains are to replace an aging fleet
German rail company Deutsche Bahn and engineering giant Siemens sign a multibillion euro contract for new high-speed trains on Monday, with reports saying the contract has safeguards against delays and technology failures.
The contract, worth some six billion euros, commissions at least 230 new long-distance trains, called ICx, to replace Deutsche Bahn's current aging inventory.
Reports on Sunday said that Siemens is to receive payment for its services over a period of time, and that payment will be withheld if the trains do not function properly. Siemens must pay for any cost overruns itself.
The new trains are to undergo at least two months of testing before transporting any passengers. Over the following year they will be gradually integrated into the existing fleet.
Weekly newspaper Bild am Sonntag reported that the ICx trains use 30 percent less energy than their predecessors. Rather than having a locomotive or engine car on either end of the train, the trains have so-called "power cars" with engines below the floors of the passenger cars.
Deutsche Bahn has said the contract is the largest single investment that the company has ever made.
Author: Andrew Bowen (AFP, dapd)
Editor: Kyle James