Locomotives / Train Sets

DB ICE 3 (InterCity-Express 3)

Electric Locomotive

Series: "Velaro"

Entry Last Edited: 01/17/2024 | Content ©www.RailRoadJunction.net | The following text is exclusive to this site.
Specifications [+]
The high-speed ICE 3 is a fantastic piece of German railway engineering, capable of hitting straightline speeds of 200 miles-per-hour.
The ICE 3is a German railway high-speed passenger train instantly recognized by its futuristic shaping and red-white color scheme. Major operators of the series include DB Fernverkehr of Germany and Nederlandse Spoorwegen of The Netherlands. Designed by N+P Industrial Design, the line has been primarily produced under the Siemens brand label. The "ICE" name stems from the title "InterCity-Express".

The trains typically run eight passenger cars though the double-traction setup gives them the capability to operate up to sixteen passenger cars (doubling the people-moving power of this machine). The cars have an aluminum body construction.

The all-electric propulsion scheme allows the train to hit speeds of 200 miles-per-hour on its service runs (out to an absolute design maximum of 210mph). Power output from its propulsion configuration reaches an impressive 10,728 horsepower. The electric system in the original design involves a 15kV 16.7Hz AC arrangement. The ICE 3M relies on a 1,500 V DC fit as well as a 3kV DC and 25kV 50Hz AC system. All are collected via a Pantograph assembly over the roof of the train (overhead).

The axle configuration is as follows in an eight-car arrangement: Bo'Bo'+2'2'+Bo'Bo'+2'2'+2'2'+Bo'Bo'+2'2'+Bo'Bo'.

The train has an absolute length of 658.11 feet (201 meters) and weighs 451 tons (short) - though this value increases to 480 tons (short) in the follow-up ICE 3M model detailed below.

The operator's cab is of all-modern design, appearing as something more out of a science fiction space opera. The driver takes his/her place at front-center in a swiveling, high-backed chair. The instrument panel is elegantly curved and dominated by a pair of outboard Multi-Function Displays (MFDs) separated by the main instrument readout section directly at front. Control levels are positioned within easy reach for advancing or slowing the train. The windscreen is angled and provides a relatively excellent view of the track length ahead. Sun visors can be pulled down as needed to deflect glare and improve situational awareness. The operator's cabin is completely visible to passengers directly behind him/her due to the simple glass separator used.

The series has classes under the umbrella name which include the "Class 403", "Class 406", "Class 407", and "Class 408". The 441-seat Class 403 is the original "ICE 3" while the 430-seat Class 406 is the "ICE 3M" (M = Multisystem). The 460-seat Class 407 (Velaro D) is the "New ICE 3" and the 455-seat Class 408 is the "ICE 3neo". Velaro D models are Class 407 types for Deutsche Bahn international services originating in Germany.

The production run has totaled (to date, 2023) 50 units of the Class 403 type, 17 units of the Class 406, 17 units of the Class 407, and up to 73 units of the Class 408 remain on order. The original 50-strong production batch of the Class 403 trains was used to fulfill a Frankfurt-to-Cologne run - the cars built by both Siemens and Adtranz (Bombardier Transportation).

Installed and supported safety systems in the series include Sifa, PZB90, and LZB for the ICE 3 and "Crocodile", TVM430, KVB, ATB, and "Eurobalise" for the ICE 3M.

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Specifications [ DB ICE 3 (InterCity-Express 3) ]

Siemens / Adtranz (Bombardier Transportation) - Germany

1999 - Ongoing
Production Run

84 units
Production Total
Train driver seating position graphic

Driver Position
200.8m | 659.0 ft
NOTE: May include length of entire train set
409,470 kg
(902,881 lb | 451 US Tons)
Locomotive power source graphical icon
Power Source
Power pulled via overhead Pantograph assembly: 15 kV 16.7 Hz AC; 1,500 V DC (ICE 3M); 3 kV DC (ICE 3M); 3 kV DC (ICE 3M / Velaro D); 25 kV 50 Hz AC (ICE 3M / Velaro D)
Engine / Drive Source
10,728 hp
Rated Output Power
320.0 kph
(198.9 mph)
Max Speed
Wheel Arrangement
(Loco Facing Left)


Safety Systems
Series Variants
ICE 3 (Class 403) - Base Series Designation; initial production models; 441-seat capacity; 50 examples.
ICE 3M (Class 406 - Multi-system variant for international service; 430-seat capacity; 17 examples.
New ICE 3 (Class 407 / Velaro D) - 460-seat capacity; 17 examples.
ICE 3neo (Class 408) - 455-seat capacity; 73 examples (ordered).
Operating Countries
Germany; Netherlands

National flag of modern Germany National flag of the Netherlands
Customers / Operators:
DB Fernverkehr (Germany); Nederlandse Spoorwegen (Netherlands)
NOTE: Includes both past and present

Image of the DB ICE 3 (InterCity-Express 3)

Image of the DB ICE 3 (InterCity-Express 3)
Side profile illustration view of the ICE 3 high-speed electric train of Germany.
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