Photographer's Note

Early morning before the rush. This is the station beneath the huge Frankfurt Airport. In a few minutes this area was teeming with travellers. The trains arrived on the dot of the timetable, German efficiency at work. It is good to ride between major centres on this train. At over 220 km/hr, it is so smooth feels like a car at 100km/hr. The driver is shown in the workshop.

The InterCityExpress or ICE is a type of high-speed train operated mostly by DB Fernverkehr in Germany and neighboring countries, for example to Zürich, Switzerland or Vienna, Austria. ICE-trains also run at lower speeds to Amsterdam, Netherlands and to Liège and Brussels, Belgium on the Belgian highspeed way. The Spanish railway operator RENFE also employs trains based on ICE 3 trains (Siemens Velaro), and the Russian state also ordered 60 units based on ICE 3 for new high-speed routes between Saint Petersburg and Moscow. The new management of the Russian railways is reviewing the order and apparently plans to reduce it to six trains. Another 60 trains were ordered for the Chinese Beijing-Tianjin high-speed rail line.
Equipment and specifications

3rd Generation ICE "Frankfurt am Main"ICE trains require special high-speed tracks to run at high speeds, but can run on normal tracks at normal speeds.

The first generations were derived from the then-new class 120 electric locomotives. The powerheads of those units are in fact upgraded 120s with a more aerodynamic lining. Passenger cars can be coupled and uncoupled for maintenance, enabling the operator to run trains of different lengths. First-generation trains are currently undergoing a major redesign, including a standardization of train lengths.

The third generation ICE has a completely different concept: The entire traction equipment is fitted underfloor, with a larger number of less powerful motors. An ICE 3 unit consists of eight cars, four of which are powered, while the others carry other electrical equipment, including the pantographs. This design allow seats in all parts of the train, including "lounge" seats at both ends separated from the driver by a glass wall only.

The ICE 3M (class 406) is a multisystem variant of the ICE 3 that currently serves routes into the Netherland and Belgium. Licensing for French LGVs started in 2001 and has been described by engineers as a "clash of cultures". Problems included flying gravel and trackside equipment ripped loose by the ICE's eddy current brakes. Admission of the ICE 3M for regular service into France was granted in late 2005.

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Additional Photos by Murray Lines (MLINES) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2255 W: 203 N: 2719] (12516)
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