TGV instead of ICE: French high-speed train for German long-distance traffic


The ICE family, which is mainly manufactured by Siemens, could face competition in the domestic high-speed long-distance rail traffic. According to its own information, Alstom is negotiating with an interested party who wants to use the Avelia Euroduplex model, which can reach speeds of up to 320 km / h, in Germany. It is expressly not about Deutsche Bahn.

Müslüm Yakisan, who is responsible for the German, Austrian and Swiss business at Alstom, told Wirtschaftswoche that interest in the German rail transport market had increased. You have concrete discussions with a customer who wants to enter the long-distance transport market, so Yakisan. He left it open whether it was a railway company (EVU) as defined by Deutsche Bahn or a leasing company that buys the vehicles for its fleet and then leases them to an EVU. Regardless of this, it would be a prestigious success for Alstom: So far, the French company, which wants to take over the railway division of the Canadian Bombardier group, has not been able to enforce against Siemens and the ICE.

According to Yakisan, the Avelia Euroduplex, also known as the TGV 2N2, is better suited for some routes in Germany than the ICE family. Because while Siemens relies on cars with only one level, the Euroduplex has double-deck cars. With a train length of 200 meters, it therefore offers almost 550 seats. For comparison: A seven-part ICE 4 with a length of 202 meters has 444 seats, an eight-part ICE 3 (BR 407) offers 460 seats with a length of 201 meters. The thirteen-part ICE 4 (374 meters, 918 seats) would also be superior to the Euroduplex, as it is technically possible to operate two coupled units (double traction). The French high-speed train has the advantage especially on routes with high passenger volumes.

There would be no costly adjustments to the German rail infrastructure in the event of an award. The Euroduplex has had the approval of the Federal Railway Authority necessary for use in Germany since 2012 and has been used regularly on journeys between France and Germany since then.

While Deutsche Bahn competes with numerous other companies in local and regional transport, it has a market share of almost 100 percent in long-distance transport. In purely domestic German traffic, there is only one competitor, FlixTrain, which currently only operates two routes (Aachen – Berlin and Cologne – Hamburg). There are also cross-border connections, for example to France and the Netherlands, which Deutsche Bahn operates in partnership with the respective companies.


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