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Not to be confused with ices (disambiguation).
Type and origin
Power type electric
Builder Siemens, DWA, AEG, Adtranz
UIC classification

original composition:


current composition:

Locomotive weight 325 t
Performance figures
Maximum speed 206 mph (330 km/h)
Power output

powerheads: 2×4,800 kW

powered carriages: 2×2,000 kW
Delivered 1996

ICE S is Deutsche Bahn's testing train for high-speed tests. The "S" stands for Schnellfahrtzug, which is German for high speed train. It replaced the InterCityExperimental (ICE V).


The train was originally used to test components during the development of the ICE 3 in the mid-1990s. The powerheads were taken from the ongoing production of the ICE 2 with only minor modifications. Two of the three original carriages had 500 kW traction motors on each axle, resulting in an impressive overall power output of 13,600 kW. When testing was completed, both these powered carriages were retired.

After the ICE V was retired, the ICE S became the testing train for the maintenance of the high-speed lines. Three times a year, the train runs on each line with an array of sensors and cameras to determine the line's condition. During the acceptance tests of new high-speed lines, the ICE S is usually the first train to drive the line at design speed and beyond.

While testing bogies for DB and Japan Rail, the train achieved a speed of 393 km/h[1] on 13 July 2001, which is the highest speed driven on German rails since the InterCityExperimental's land speed record campaign in 1988.

Facts and Future[edit]

This train was originally built for testing the technical concepts of the ICE 3, and operated with three intermediate cars forming a "half ICE 3" (transformer car and two cars with traction motors). Now most operate with only one intermediate car for different testing purposes. In this case it seemed to be a test run of the new highspeed line Cologne-Düren (ABS 4), where ICE and Thalys trains shall run with 250 km/h in the future.

The train consists of two motor units (derived from the ICE 2) and three coaches with test equipment. The train, which has a power rating of 14000 kW (2x 5000 kW (motor units) + 2000 kW (motor bogies of coaches)) at the moment, will be used to test new components for the forthcoming ICE 3. Although the coaches are carried out for 330 km/h, it is planned to attain a top speed of 440 km/h (which would be a new record for German trains). The main visible differences to normal ICE 2 trainsets are the special design and the three pantographs of the coaches.


  1. ^ "15 Jahre Hochgeschwindigkeitsverkehr" (in German). Deutsche Bahn AG. Archived from the original on 2007-02-05. Retrieved 2007-02-13. 

External links[edit]