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  • Hey folks, welcome back to the channel, and welcome back to High Speed Rail Explained.

  • If you aren't already, follow us on Twitter and Instagram and consider supporting the

  • channel on Patreon!

  • Given our last episode in China we wanted to head to another great nation for railways

  • that we also hadn't talked much about but, where we hope to make many videos in the future:

  • Germany.

  • Germany started developing high speed rail lines shortly after the opening and great

  • success of the TGV in France however delays meant that the first services on the German

  • high speed rail system known as I C E or Intercity Express did not run until the early 1990s.

  • From here the network has expanded to encompass over 1500kms of track, connecting all of Germany's

  • major cities as well as into neighboring countries. Let's get into it!

  • We'll start our video by giving you a quick overview of the system. It should be noted

  • that because Germany already had a heavily integrated passenger network and because it

  • has many more major urban centres than France, it's high speed rail network developed very

  • differently. While France was easily able to connect its major urban areas with a few

  • brand new very high speed lines or LGV's, Germany like China needed to piece together

  • more of a national grid network, and thus Germany's network of high speed lines is

  • highly integrated with the traditional railways.

  • Germany's dedicated high speed rail network started with the opening of the Hanover Wurzburg

  • 280kph line, and the Mannheim Stuttgart 280kph line, both opening in 1991. Following this,

  • in the late 1990's the Hannover Berlin 250kph high speed line was opened, though the name

  • is a bit of a misnomer as it stopped short of actually reaching Hannover at full speeds.

  • Next came the Cologne to Frankfurt 300kph line opened in 2002, the Nuremberg Ingolstadt

  • 300kph line in 2006, the Erfurt Leipzig 300kph line in 2015, and most recently the Nuremberg

  • Erfurt line in 2017.

  • Now beyond these existing lines a number of new lines are also planned or under construction.

  • Currently under construction is the Wendlingen Ulm 250kph line, as well as the Stuttgart

  • Wendlingen 250kph line that is a part of the Stuttgart 21 project, which you can expect

  • a video on in the future. There are also plans for a 250kph line between Ulm & Augsburg,

  • as well as 300kph lines connecting Frankfurt & Mannheim, Hanau & Gelnhausen, and Bielefeld

  • & Hannover.

  • However, the most interesting aspect of Germany's High Speed Rail development has been its upgrading

  • of sub 200kph lines many of which are over a century old to 200 or even 250kph standards.

  • This is what has let Germany build such an impressive overall network without having

  • to go to the extremes that some other countries have with plans that focus solely or mostly

  • on 300+kph lines. In doing this Germany has brought the benefits of HSR to every corner

  • of the country and has created a much denser and better connected HSR grid than neighboring

  • France.

  • Lines upgraded to 200kph include:

  • KehlAppenweier, BebraErfurt,

  • BerlinHalle, HammWarburg,

  • Wanne-EickelHamburg, KölnDuisburg,

  • DortmundHamm, HanoverHamburg,

  • HammMinden, HanoverMinden,

  • LeipzigDresden, Nuremberg–Würzburg,

  • RosenheimSalzburg, MannheimFrankfurt,

  • Hanau–Würzburg, HanauFulda,

  • NurembergAugsburg, LübeckPuttgarden,

  • EmmerichOberhausen, PlauenCheb,

  • Munich–Mühldorf.

  • Lines upgraded to 250kph include:

  • lnAachen, MannheimOffenburg,

  • OffenburgBasel.

  • And finally, the stretch between Hamburg and Berlin is a bit special - it was upgraded

  • to 230 kph, just shy of 250kph.

  • Of course one of the unique elements of the EU is that rail services which cross international

  • borders are quite ubiquitous which means Deutsche Bahn also operates services into surrounding

  • countries including services to:

  • Paris,

  • Brussels,

  • Amsterdam,

  • Innsbruck,

  • Brussels & Zurich,

  • There have also been proposals for Ice Trains to connect to London via the Channel tunnel

  • though such plans have not yet amounted to anything concrete and may never happen because

  • of changing political tides.

  • Unsurprisingly as well, as ICE trains unlike many of China's High Speed Trains serve

  • many Historic City Centre Terminals, speeds are restricted on final approaches into major

  • cities, this does have the benefit of providing much more convenient city to city connections

  • though.

  • Given the frequent service and connectivity of ICE, the network has been a major success

  • for Deutsche Bahn. With over half a billion passengers transported on the network by 2005

  • and more than three times that by 2020. Of course, as high speed rail is often more convenient

  • than airline travel - the expansion of ICE has had major impacts within Germany and with

  • aggressive climate goals it should be expected that ICE will have a growing impact on Germany's

  • airlines domestic services in coming years.

  • For rolling stock there are a number of variants which can mostly be sorted into three categories,

  • ICE 1 and 2 which were introduced when the ICE network opened and are capable of speeds

  • of up to 280kph. These trains are more traditional locomotive hauled sets.

  • ICE 3 and ICE T which are electrical multiple unit sets the former of which is capable of

  • 320kph speeds and the latter of which is capable of 230 kph speeds. They were introduced in

  • 1999.

  • Finally we have the newest trains operating on ICE, known as ICE 4. ICE 4 trains are made

  • up of a mix of power and trailer cars which make them capable of speeds from 230 to 250

  • kph, if you are wondering why the newest ICE trains would not be capable of the highest

  • possible network speeds this is because they were value engineered by DB as much of the

  • network is only capable of speeds of up to 250kph - this is something which we think

  • Amtrak should have done with its new Acela trains - as Reece mentioned in his video here.

  • The ICE 4 sets are meant to replace initial ICE 1 and ICE 2 trains which have reached

  • the end of their useful life - though this has been delayed by manufacturing flaws.

  • Of course I should also note that while not in revenue service - Germany was an originator

  • of high speed maglev technology and the Shanghai Maglev featured in our last episode was created

  • by Siemens and ThyssenKrupp.

  • Now, one other place that Germany has been highly successful is in it's export of HSR

  • rolling stock and technology. The Siemens Velaro model upon which the ICE 3 is based

  • currently operates in:

  • Spain,

  • Russia,

  • The UK and France,

  • Turkey,

  • And China. In addition, Siemens has long promoted itself

  • as a natural fit for production of trains for California's High Speed Rail, which

  • does seem natural given the company's major presence in the state.

  • Given all it's successes - it's clear that Germany is among the world's high speed rail

  • leaders and it presents a model for countries with dense preexisting railway networks to

  • upgrade them to provide broad benefits nationwide. You can expect many more videos on Germany's

  • railways and transit networks in the future!

  • Hope you enjoyed this second episode of High Speed Rail Explained - If you learned something

  • from this video, make sure to like and subscribe, and comment down below to let us know what

  • you want to see in the next episode of the series, and whether there's any topics in

  • this video you'd like us to dive deeper into. Thanks for watching, and we'll see

  • you in the next one!

Hey folks, welcome back to the channel, and welcome back to High Speed Rail Explained.

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Germany's High Speed Rail System Explained

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    Alan posted on 2021/07/12
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