ICE 3, or Intercity-Express 3, is a family of high-speed EMU trains operated by Deutsche Bahn. It includes classes 403, 406 and 407, which are known as ICE 3, ICE 3M and New ICE 3 respectively. Four multisystem trains, known as ICE International, are owned by Nederlandse Spoorwegen (NS, Dutch Railways).
Based on the ICE 3M/F, Siemens developed its Siemens Velaro train family with versions for Spain, China, Russia, its home country Germany, as well as Great Britain and Turkey.
The design goal of the ICE 3 (Class 403) was to create a higher-powered, lighter train than its predecessors. This was achieved by distributing its 16 traction motors underneath the whole train. The train is licensed for 330 km/h (210 mph) and has reached 368 km/h (228.66 mph)) on trial runs. On regular Intercity-Express services they run at up to 300 km/h (190 mph), the maximum design speed of German high-speed lines.
Because the train does not have powerheads, the whole length of the train is available for passenger seats, including the first car. The lounge-seats are located directly behind the driver, separated only by a glass wall.
The 50 sets were ordered in 1997 and specifically designed for the new high-speed line between Frankfurt and Cologne. They were built by a consortium led by Siemens and Adtranz (now Bombardier Transportation)
The ICE 3M (Class 406; M for multisystem) was developed to operate international services under the four different railway electrification systems in use on Europe’s main lines and with support for various train protection systems. The Deutsche Bahn (DB) ordered 13 of these units in 1994, the NS (Nederlandse Spoorwegen) four, making sure that the demands of the Dutch rail network are taken care of. Though these trains carry NS logos, the DB and NS trains together form a pool and therefore, the NS trains may operate DB services as well. In 2007 the train was licensed for operation in the Netherlands, Belgium and France. Currently, those trains are used for cross-border runs between Netherlands, Germany, Belgium and France. On the French LGV Est, some trains reach a regular top speed of 320 km/h (199 mph).
The 17 class 406 sets were built by the same consortium as the class 403. They were first introduced from November 2000 on services between Cologne and Amsterdam. Since December 2002, they have also been operating three journeys daily each way between Frankfurt and Brussels (increased to four per day since December 2010).
In Belgium, the train was licensed in 2002 to run on the classic 3 kV DC lines with speeds up to 160 km/h (99 mph) and, from December 2004, also on the new 25 kV AC high-speed lines, but initially limited to 250 km/h (155 mph) instead of 300 km/h (186 mph). Problems with flying gravel and its frictionless linear eddy current brake came up during testing. In order to limit the creation of tornado-like vortices that pick up gravel and to limit damage from flying gravel to the train, spoilers have been added under the car joints, under the carbody next to the bogies and under the powered axles on the bogies.
The linear eddy current brake, which is required for higher speeds, cannot yet be used, because the magnetic field would rip off the magnetic covers of some trackside equipment; those covers will have to be replaced by non-magnetic ones according to the EU Technical Specifications for Interoperability for international rail traffic in Europe.
As in Belgium, licensing procedures for France took five years to be completed. Trial runs were completed in late 2005 and the same two problems were encountered as in Belgium: loose gravel damage and possible side-effects of the brakes. ICE 3Ms were allowed on the LGV Est and started service there on 20 June 2007, mixed with TGVs. Since December 2007, DB operates ICE 3M trains from Frankfurt central station to Paris Est, initially with five daily runs between both cities. The six trains for running into France (designated ICE-3 MF, indicating multisystem France) were modified at Bombardier’s Hennigsdorf plant and were extensively tested on Siemens’ test site in Wegberg-Wildenrath before the modified trains re-entered commercial service.
The British Rail Class 321 alternating current (AC) electric multiple units (EMU) were built by BREL York in three batches from 1988 to 1991. The design was successful and led to the development of the similar Class 320 and Class 322 units for use by Strathclyde PTE and Stansted Express (now used by Northern Rail) respectively. The British Rail Mark 3 bodyshell design was also used for construction of the Class 456 direct current (DC) units.
Three sub-classes of unit were built. The first two were built for the Network SouthEast sector, whilst the final batch was built for services around Leeds. These trains have been modified by different rail companies who use them such as Greater Anglia. The modifications include new seats, paintwork, lighting and in carriage announcement boards.
The first batch of 66 EMU trains, built between 1988 and 1990 were classified under TOPS as Class 321/3. Units were numbered in the range 321301-366 and have a maximum speed of 100 mph (161 km/h). Each EMU consisted of four carriages; two outer driving trailers, one of which contained first class seating; an intermediate motor coach with standard class seating only, roof mounted Brecknell Willis High Speed pantograph and four Brush TM2141C traction motors (two per bogie); and an intermediate trailer with standard class seating. The technical description of the formation is DTCO+PMSO+TSO+DTSO. These units were delivered in two groups, with individual vehicles numbered as follows:
Units 321301-346 Units 321347-366
DTCO 78049-78094 78131-78150
PMSO 62975-63020 63105-63124
TSO 71880-71925 71991-72010
DTSO 77853-77898 78280-78299
These EMU trains were built for outer-suburban trains on the Great Eastern Main Line, primarily from London Liverpool Street to Southend Victoria, Ipswich, Southminster, Clacton, Colchester and Braintree. They replaced the ageing slam-door Class 305, Class 308 and Class 309 units on trains to Clacton and Southend-on-Sea, and worked services on the newly electrified routes to Ipswich and Harwich. They also displaced many Class 312 slam-door units to the London, Tilbury and Southend Railway. Some of the Class 309 “Clacton Express” units were retained until 1994, and 24 of the newer Class 312 units were retained long-term to work services to Walton-on-the-Naze and peak services to Clacton, Ipswich and Witham. Units carried the distinctive Network SouthEast livery from new. 321361 was named ‘Phoenix’ in March 2008 at Ilford depot after it was rebuilt at the disused Colchester shed to repair damage caused by an arson attack at Southend Victoria on 10 July 2007.
The second batch of 48 units, built between 1989–90, were classified as Class 321/4. Units were numbered in the range 321401-448 and again have a maximum speed of 100 mph (161 km/h). The formation of these units is identical to that of the first batch, each unit being formed DTCO+PMSO+TSO+DTSO. They were delivered in two groups, with individual vehicles numbered as follows
These units were built for outer-suburban services on the West Coast Main Line, from London Euston to Watford, Milton Keynes, Northampton, Rugby, Coventry and Birmingham New Street.
All Units were delivered in Network SouthEast blue, red and white livery. They displaced the recently cascaded Class 317 units dating from 1981 that had themselves only just been introduced to the route to replace Class 310 units.
In 1996, units 321418 and 321420 were involved in a head-on rush-hour collision at Watford South Junction. Two vehicles of each set were extensively damaged. The remaining, undamaged, vehicles were reformed into a ‘new’ 321418, whilst the damaged vehicles were scrapped. Replacement vehicles were constructed, using the same vehicle numbers, taking the unit number 321420.