Presentation of future Talgo ECx train for German Railways
German Railways (Deutsche Bahn, DB) and Talgo have presented ECx, the long-distance train that the Spanish manufacturer will supply to DB as part of a framework agreement for 100 units awarded last February. The first order is valued at 550 million euros and involves the delivery of 23 trains.
The ECx trains will run on a cross-border route from Berlin to Amsterdam, cutting travel time between both cities by some 30 minutes to reach 5 hours and 50 minutes.
The Berlin-Amsterdam service will incorporate the ECx trains coinciding with the timetable change of December 2023. What's more, the ECx units will travel to tourist destinations on the North Sea and in the Alps. Starting in summer 2024, there are plans to use them on the Westerland-Cologne, Westerland-Frankfurt-Karlsruhe, Westerland-Berlin and Oberstdorf-Cologne routes.
The ECx trains, which will replace the old Intercity-1 trains, will offer a level of comfort similar to the one provided by the very high speed ICE trains. In addition to Wi-Fi, the ECx features baggage racks for oversize luggage in every wagon, onboard café with standing and seating areas, information monitors in entryways and seating areas displaying real-time data, and WLAN and onboard entertainment (ICE portal).
At all doors, the trains can be boarded from standard platforms 760 mm in height with no need to climb any stairs. This eases the boarding process for passengers in wheelchairs, with baggage or strollers. The ECx has three wheelchair spaces with height-adjustable tables and an accessible restroom. It also has a tactile guide system with all notices displayed in braille.
The ECx trains will offer various lighting modes throughout the day, eight bicycle spaces on each train and a storage room for sports equipment (e.g. ski racks on the route to Oberstdorf). They will also include a separate area for small children and families with a play area and storage spaces for strollers.
Before their commissioning, the new units will undergo a trial period whose results, together with the evaluation of passengers and employees, will be taken into account in the subsequent development of the trains. The ECx will enter service with a new type of seat that will be selected among the various types of seats to be tested and based on customer ratings.
Each ECx set is comprised of one multi-system locomotive –although it can also be coupled with a diesel locomotive- and 17 passenger cars. The trains have 570 seats (85 in first class and 485 in second) and can run at a top speed of 230 km/h.
The ECx trains have Talgo’s own rolling assembly (Talgo trucks), which is lighter than conventional bogies and offers a substantial reduction in traction energy consumption. The vehicle bodies, manufactured using a light construction design, and the aerodynamic external form of the vehicles at the connecting gangways, result in very strong energy efficiency. In addition, the air-conditioners use natural refrigerants.
Electric regenerative braking will be used predominantly (with return of regenerative energy through the locomotive to the overhead line). Trains will also have disc brake, compressed air brake, and magnetic brake.