The ICx is now the fourth generation of Deutsche Bahn's striking red & white high speed trains. Entering service for the first time in 1989, the aerodynamic trainsets have since undergone continuous further development. The new ICx will form the future backbone of DB's intercity services. Always on board: the heavy-duty RockStar connectors from electrical engineering specialist Weidmüller. Deutsche Bahn has ordered around 300 of the ultramodern multiple units from Siemens. Weidmüller was delighted with the outcome of the tender competition: “Technically, we offered the best all-round package in terms of reliability and user-friendliness,” comments Detmar Saalmann, Head of Industry Management Transportation at the Detmold-based company.
“When the first generation of the ICE was launched, the train set new standards in technology and design. Now we have progressed several steps further in both areas.” Passenger comfort is the measure of all things, which also means more electronics and therefore even more electrical connections. The Weidmüller connectors are located – concealed from the passengers – at the carriage connections and enable power, up to 550 Amps at 1,500 Volts, to be transported from the head of the train to the very last carriage.
Furthermore, modern long-distance passenger services place the highest demands on the flexibility of transport systems. “The number of carriages varies according to the anticipated number of passengers,” says Saalman. “By using Weidmüller plug-in connectors, trains can be put together much more quickly and flexibly from individual cars or extended and shortened as required.” The use of a plug-in system rather than screw connections saves Deutsche Bahn valuable time: “It used to take days to put a train together. Thanks to the new system, the ICx is ready for service within hours.”
At present the cars for the new ICx are in production. From 2016, these will replace the Intercity and Eurocity fleets built between 1971 and 1991. Subsequently, ICE 1 and ICE 2 trains will also be replaced. The heavy duty plug-in connectors will be a key component in ensuring that Deutsche Bahn customers get quickly from A to B.
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