WORLD Deutsche Bahn's ICE trains turning green


Deutsche Bahn's ICE trains turning green


00:59, September 11, 2019

ice train (agencies).jpg

(Photo: Agencies)

BERLIN, Sept. 10 (Xinhua) -- German railway company Deutsche Bahn (DB) has reworked the design of its iconic Intercity Express (ICE) trains in view of its new strategy that puts the focus on climate protection, the government-owned DB announced on Tuesday.

The new design of the ICEs, which have been in use for almost 30 years now, features a green instead of a red line around the train as well as a small symbol for an electric plug to indicate that the trains are powered by 100 percent green electricity, according to DB.

ICEs, the fastest German trains, are reaching speeds of up to 300 km per hour and have been well-known among Germans for their distinctive red line running all around the train. The red line, which has now been replaced by the green line, had been characteristic to all previous versions of the ICE.

"As the largest mobility company in Germany, we strive to lead the way in terms of climate protection," said Richard Lutz, chief executive officer (CEO) of Deutsche Bahn. With the green ICEs, the company would be sending a "strong signal."

DB stated that it had saved around 1.4 million tons of CO2 in 2018 alone by switching to renewable energies, which would correspond to the CO2 balance of around half a million passenger cars. According to DB, all ICE trains have been powered entirely by green electricity since 2018.

The rework of the ICE design is part of the company's new "Strong Rail" strategy, with which Deutsche Bahn is aiming, among other things, to double the number of passengers in long distance travel in order to "make an important contribution to climate protection."

In addition, DB seeks to increase its railway infrastructure capacities by 30 percent by pushing digitalization as well as by a "better utilization of existing capacities."

DB expects an additional increase in the number of passengers by a reduction of the value added tax (VAT) on tickets from 19 percent to 7 percent. Such a reduction is scheduled to be the subject of a meeting of Germany's climate cabinet next week.

"Germany will only meet its climate targets if we succeed in shifting traffic to rail on a massive scale over the next decade," said DB CEO Lutz at the presentation of the company strategy back in June.

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