ONE OF German Railway’s ICE fleet reached a speed of 393 km/h during trials of a Japanese-designed bogie on the Hannover - Berlin high speed line on July 13. The test was part of DB’s programme to develop trains fit for commercial service at 350 km/h - for the moment a distant prospect, although less so for Spain (p517). Germany’s programme to build more high speed lines currently faces mixed fortunes, and DB’s ambitions for the next National Transport Infrastructure Plan, to be implemented by 2015, include just two projects to fill gaps in the present Neubaustrecken network. One, from Frankfurt to Mannheim, has a price tag of DM2·7bn and the second, between Hanau and Fulda, will cost DM2·8bn. Another 27 projects including several major upgrading schemes are in DB’s wish list submitted to the transport ministry, the total cost being around DM17bn.

Initial test running on the K