ICE 3 on the Cologne–Frankfurt high-speed rail line
|Type and origin|
DB Class 403: 50
|UIC classification||Bo′Bo′+2′2′+Bo′Bo′+2′2′ +2′2′+Bo′Bo′+2′2′+Bo′Bo′
(Velaro E, CN, D, 380B)
Bo′Bo′+2′2′+Bo′Bo′+2′2′ +2′2′+Bo′Bo′+2′2′+Bo′Bo′+Bo′Bo′+2′2′+Bo′Bo′+2′2′ +2′2′+Bo′Bo′+2′2′+Bo′Bo′
(Velaro e320, 380BL)
200 m (656 ft)/8 cars with up to 536 seats
200 m (656 ft)/8 cars with 460 seats
|Electric system(s)||25 kV 50 Hz AC
(Velaro E, CN, 380B, BL)
25 kV 50 Hz AC, 1.5 kV DC
25 kV 50 Hz AC, 3 kV DC
350–380 km/h (217–236 mph), 403 km/h (250 mph) max. (Velaro E, CRH380B)
320 km/h (199 mph) (e320)
|Power output||8,000 kW (11,000 hp)
8,800 kW (11,800 hp)
(Velaro E, CRH3, CRH380B)
16,000 kW (21,000 hp)
or 550 kW (740 hp) per motor
18,400 kW (24,700 hp)
or 575 kW (771 hp) per motor 
|Tractive effort||283 kN (64,000 lbf) (Velaro E)
300 kN (67,000 lbf)
328 kN (74,000 lbf) (Velaro RUS)
China Railways CRH3
Turkish State Railways
Siemens Velaro is a family of high-speed EMU trains used in Germany, Spain, China, Russia and Turkey. In the future these trains are also to be used in Great Britain, France, Belgium and the Netherlands. The Velaro is based on the ICE 3M/F high-speed trains manufactured by Siemens for Deutsche Bahn.
Deutsche Bahn were the first to order Siemens high speed trains. The Deutsche Bahn (DB) ordered 13 of these units in 1994, the NS (Nederlandse Spoorwegen) four units. The trains were delivered in 1999 for service. The trains were labelled and marketed as the Velaro by their manufacturer, Siemens.
Siemens developed its Siemens Velaro based on the ICE 3M/F. Spain's RENFE was the first to order Velaro trains, known as Velaro E, for their AVE network. Wider versions were ordered by China for the Beijing-Tianjin high-speed rail (China Railways CRH3) and Russia for the Moscow–Saint Petersburg and the Moscow–Nizhny Novgorod routes (Velaro RUS/Сапсан). Since December 2013, the latest generation, Velaro D has been running in its home country, Germany.
ICE 3 (DB Class 403/406)
The Velaro is a further development of the ICE 3 family of high-speed EMUs built for Deutsche Bahn. Types are the ICE 3 (DB Class 403) for domestic ICE service and ICE 3M (DB Class 406), where the 'M' stands for Mehrsystem (multi-system), for international service. The ICE 3M can run on four different Railway electrification systems in use on Europe's main lines and supports various train security systems. Deutsche Bahn (DB) ordered 13 of these units in 1994, the NS (Nederlandse Spoorwegen) four designed to run between the German and Dutch rail networks. The latter trains carry NS logos but DB and NS operate the trains together as a pool. As of 2007, six modified trains designated ICE 3 MF (indicating multisystem France), became licensed for operation in France. On the French LGV Est, these trains run at a top speed of 320 km/h (199 mph).
Velaro E (AVE Class 103)
Velaro E is a Spanish version of the Velaro family. In 2001, RENFE ordered sixteen Velaros designated AVE Class 103. The order was later increased to a total of 26 trains. The trains serve the 621 km (386 mi) Barcelona–Madrid line at speeds up to 310 km/h (193 mph) for a travel time of 2 hrs 30 mins.
The first units were delivered in July 2005 and completed their first test runs in January 2006.
On 15 July 2006, a train achieved a top speed of 403.7 km/h (250.8 mph) between Guadalajara and Calatayud on the Madrid–Zaragoza line. This is a Spanish record for railed vehicles. Until 3rd of December 2010 it was also a world record for unmodified commercial service trainsets, as the earlier TGV (world record of 574.8 km/h or 357.2 mph) and ICE records were achieved with specially modified and shortened trainsets, and the Shinkansen (443 km/h or 275 mph, 1996) record was for a test (non-commercial) trainset.
Velaro CN (CRH3C)
Velaro CRH3C is a Chinese version of the Velaro. In November 2005, China ordered 60 trains for the Beijing–Tianjin Intercity Railway. The eight-car trains are very similar to Spain's Velaro E, but 300 mm (11.81 in) wider to fit in almost 50% more seats in a 2 plus 3 layout. In the CRH3C version, a 200-metre-long Velaro train will seat 600 passengers. These trains were manufactured jointly by Siemens in Germany and CNR Tangshan in China. The first Chinese-built CRH3C was unveiled on 11 April 2008.
CRH3C reached a top speed of 394.3 km/h (245.0 mph) during a test on the Beijing to Tianjin high-speed railway on 24 June 2008.
Velaro RUS (RZD Sapsan)
Velaro RUS is part of the Velaro family built for Russia. On 19 May 2006 Siemens announced an order from Russian Railways for eight Velaro RUS high-speed trains including a 30-year service contract. The contract is in total worth €600 million. The trains, connecting Moscow with Saint Petersburg, and later also Moscow and Nizhny Novgorod at a speed of up to 250 km/h (155 mph), are based on the ICE3 train standard but with bodies broadened by 33 cm (13 in) to 3.265 m (10 ft 8.5 in) to suit Russia's standard loading gauge. They are also built to the Russian track gauge, unlike other Velaro EMUs.
Development and construction were carried out at Erlangen and Krefeld in Germany. Single-voltage EVS1 (3 kV DC) trains entered passenger service at the end of 2009 on the Moscow–St Petersburg route, and the dual-system EVS2 trains entered service on the Nizhniy Novgorod route in 2010.
On December 19, 2011, an order for an additional 8 sets was signed in order to facilitate an increased number of services on existing lines and the expansion of new service elsewhere in the system.
Velaro D (DB Class 407)
Velaro D is specifically designed for Deutsche Bahn international services from Germany. Designated DB's Class 407, it is designed to run at speeds up to 320 km/h (200 mph) and comply with Technical Specifications for Interoperability and enhanced crashworthiness requirements. There are fire-proof equipment rooms and fire doors between cars. Velaro D is designed to be quieter and more reliable than the ICE 3 (Class 403/406).
The train is also expected to use up to 20% less energy than previous versions of ICE. This is achieved in part by improved body styling. It does not have the ICE3's panorama lounge where passengers in the end coaches can see the tracks over the driver's shoulder. The Class 407 has 460 seats: 111 in first class, 333 in second class and 16 in the bistro car. In total this is 37 more seats than the ICE 3, even though the seat pitch is unchanged. This is achieved by putting the traction equipment in compartments at either end of the train instead of hiding it behind panels the length of the train. Unlike all previous ICE versions, the passenger seating is all open-plan and there are no compartments.
The eight-coach Class 407 trains can couple up and work with their Class 403 and Class 406 predecessors. Eight of the 16 bogies per train are powered, and there are four independent sets of traction equipment per train: if two of them break down, the train can still run. For full international flexibility across Europe, it can function on any of four voltages. The fleet will be based in Frankfurt.
In December 2008 Deutsche Bahn signed a €500 million order for 15 trainsets. The train's production stages were presented to the press in Krefeld on 28 April 2010, and three completed cars were displayed by Siemens on 22 September 2010 at InnoTrans. In June 2011, Deutsche Bahn ordered an additional Velaro D set (increasing the total to 16) in order to replace an ICE3MF set damaged in an accident in August 2010.
Velaro D was meant to go into service starting December 2011 on services from Frankfurt to southern France via the new LGV Rhin-Rhône, and subsequently within Germany and on other international services to France, Belgium, Switzerland and the Netherlands. Due to a series of delays in manufacturing and licensing no Velaro D trainsets were in service as of November 2012 and there was no schedule for their delivery. Only in December 2013 the first four trains delivered to DB were licensed for domestic operation as multiple units and started with passenger traffic. Four more trains are due to be delivered in spring 2014, whereas the remainder of eight trains shall be used for test runs in France and Belgium to gain type approval there.
The specification of the Velaro D allows its access to the Channel Tunnel, enabling DB to use it on the services it plans to operate from London to Amsterdam and Frankfurt. Deutsche Bahn submitted safety documentation for the operation of Velaro D high speed trainsets through the Channel Tunnel to the Intergovernmental Commission in July 2011, which in June 2013 granted a licence for passenger trains to DB.
In 2012 and 2013, Siemens discussed with Deutsche Bahn the delivery of one more Velaro D set, free of charge, as compensation for the delivery and certification delays. This train was originally build for test purposes and features a different propulsion setup, utilizing permanent magnet AC synchronous motors as opposed to the traditional AC asynchronous motors. Siemens stated that this will allow a reduction in the number of propulsion units per train, while still maintaining train performance.
Velaro e320 (Eurostar)
On 7 October 2010, it was reported that Eurostar had selected Siemens as preferred bidder to supply 10 Velaro e320 trainsets at a cost of €600 million (and a total investment of more than £700 million with the refurbishment of the existing fleet included) to operate an expanded route network, including services from London to Cologne and Amsterdam. These would be sixteen-car, 400-metre (1,312 ft) long trainsets built to meet current Channel Tunnel regulations, and would not be the same as the Velaro D sets which Deutsche Bahn propose to operate services between Germany and London. The top speed will be 320 km/h (199 mph) and they will have 894-950 seats, unlike the current Eurostar fleet manufactured by the French Alstom, which has a top speed of 300 km/h (186 mph) and a seating capacity of 750. Total traction power will be rated at 16 MW. On the British system they are classified as Class 374 units.
Velaro Turkey (TCDD)
Turkish State Railways (TCDD) placed an order for seven Velaro high-speed trainsets in July 2013. The contract is worth €285m, including seven years of maintenance. The Velaros are to be deployed on the Turkish high-speed railway network. The first Siemens Velaro of the TCDD entered service in 2014.
Unlike the traditional white - red - dark blue color scheme used on the TCDD HT65000 high-speed trainsets, a white - turquoise - grey color scheme has been selected for the livery of TCDD's Velaro trainsets.
ICE 3 (Class 406) approaching Frankfurt (Main) Hauptbahnhof.
Siemens Velaro E at Innotrans 2006 in Berlin.
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- "Turkey orders Siemens Velaro high speed trainsets". Railway Gazette International. 8 July 2013.
- TCDD's first Siemens Velaro trainset
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Siemens Velaro.|
- Velaro Background
- Velaro Sell Sheet; archived
- Updated Velaro Sell Sheet (2014)
- Velaro E specification sheet; download, archived
- Siemens Velaro RUS Sell Sheet
- Velaro CN Data Sheet; archived
- Velaro developmental history and technical details Siemens Page
- Velaro D Technical details Siemens Page
- More Velaro D Tech details (Includes TE curve graph)
- Velaro e320 technical specifications
- Interactive 360º virtual tour of the Velaro E