GERMANY: Deutsche Bahn will call tenders later this year for 100 to 130 trainsets to replace its fleet of loco-hauled EuroCity and InterCity trains. Likely to be fixed-formation eight-car sets, they will be built to match the standards of DB's ICE fleet.

In the meantime DB is evaluating offers for seven to 15 high speed trains for international services, which are likely to be priced at around €30m per set. Bids were submitted on March 11, and it is understood that these trains will be designed to serve the French market from 2010 when the inter-?national passenger market is deregulated (RG 2.08 p89). Of particular interest to DB is LGV Rhin-Rhône, which when completed in 2011 will open up the possibility of reaching the French Riviera from cities such as Stuttgart and Frankfurt.

Plans for replacing DB's IC and EC fleet have been gestating for some time (RG 9.07 p521), and DB has now decided what type of train it wishes to acquire. DB Chairman Hartmut Mehdorn said last year that fixed-formation trains were 'more modern', but DB is reluctant to reveal details in the run-up to its planned partial privatisation. The first trains could be delivered by 2012, with the rest following by 2015.

DB is also drawing up proposals to replace its 59 ICE1 trainsets, possibly with a new ICE4 design.