GERMAN national operator DB introduced the first of its new ICE4 250km/h EMUs in October 2016 on a test passenger service basis.
Two sets from the seven now completed are assigned to two Hamburg to Munich (via Hannover/Würzburg) train pairs daily, although if unavailable the trains will be operated using earlier ICE1 Class 401s.
The remaining five trains are in use for testing (e.g. approval type tests in Switzerland) and for training use for both onboard staff and maintenance personnel.
DB ordered 85 10-car and 45 seven-car 250km/h trains in 2011 from Siemens; the trains then known as ICx were designed to replace older ICE1 and loco-operated Intercity services.
In 2013, it was announced that the 10-car trains would be delivered as 12-car trains and 170 extra vehicles were added to the order.
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