High-speed German rail link starts with a hitch

13th December 2004, Comments 0 comments

13 December 2004 , HAMBURG - Germany's new high-speed rail service between Hamburg and the capital Berlin began with an embarrassing delay for the country's rail operator Deutsche Bahn on Sunday. While a VIP train inaugurating the new line arrived in Berlin on schedule 90 minutes later, passengers on the regular Inter City Express (ICE) were delayed by more than an hour by a technical problem, a railway spokesman said. The ICE train had left Hamburg main station at virtually the same time as the special tr

13 December 2004

HAMBURG - Germany's new high-speed rail service between Hamburg and the capital Berlin began with an embarrassing delay for the country's rail operator Deutsche Bahn on Sunday.

While a VIP train inaugurating the new line arrived in Berlin on schedule 90 minutes later, passengers on the regular Inter City Express (ICE) were delayed by more than an hour by a technical problem, a railway spokesman said.

The ICE train had left Hamburg main station at virtually the same time as the special train carrying Deutsche Bahn chief Hartmut Mehdorn and Transport Minister Manfred Stolpe.

But an electrics problem half way into the journey brought the ICE to a halt. Passengers were transferred to another train, arriving in Berlin some 70 minutes later than scheduled.

The new service cuts about 35 minutes off existing rail journey times on the 287-kilometre route between the two cities.

After the abandonment of the project for the high-speed magnetic rail link between Hamburg and Berlin, Deutsche Bahn decided to improve the existing track in a project costing EUR 650 million.

It hopes to increase passenger levels for the service from 2.44 million this year to 2.8 million in 2005.

Inter City Express tilting trains and traditional ICE trains will operate the route, reaching peak speeds of 230 km/h. Seating capacity has been increased by 15 percent.

The opening coincides with rail price rises throughout the country of an average 3.1 percent for long-distance journeys and 3.6 percent for regional routes.

DPA

Subject: German news

 

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