The delivery of new ICE trains from siemens is not expected this year either, said railroad board member ulrich homburg in berlin on tuesday.
Furthermore, the installation of new axles in the existing ICE fleet will be delayed. This is the prerequisite for the axles to be checked less frequently and for more trains to be able to operate in daytime traffic.
"In principle, we drive every day without a reserve," said homburg about the situation in long-distance passenger traffic. Siemens has not yet given a delivery date for 16 ICE 3 trains it has ordered.
Actually, the high-speed trains should have been running since december 2011. Then it was planned to put eight of the ices into service in december 2012. However, this failed due to problems with the train control software.
A siemens spokesman said in response to a question that it was not until the end of january, after consultation with the railroads and the federal railway authority, that it became clear what changes would have to be made to the ICE trains. By the end of july the trains were made ready for operation by the company. Then the approval process will start again, which experience shows will take at least four months.
Homburg emphasized that despite the problems, the railroad does not want to restrict long-distance traffic and does not want to cancel any lines. "But by the end of 2014 we have to have relaxation, otherwise it will damage demand," said the manager responsible for passenger transport. There must also be a sufficient supply of seats for passengers on the heavily used routes.
Deutsche bahn improves internet services on existing trains. On five other routes, there is now fast online access via a local wireless network on the ICE. These are the connections hamburg-berlin, frankfurt-nurnberg-munich, dortmund-hannover-berlin, gottingen-wolfsburg and fulda-wurzburg.
At present, 90 of the 255 ICE trains have a local wireless network; by the end of the year, this number is expected to rise to 180. Use costs 9 cents per minute for telekom contract customers. Optionally, train riders can buy internet access for a few hours or days for a flat fee.