GERMANY: Deutsche Bahn has resumed acceptance of ICE 4 trainsets with immediate effect, Siemens Mobility and Bombardier Transportation announced on July 17.

The national operator had stopped accepting delivery of further ICE4 trainsets in April after Bombardier’s quality management procedures determined that some coach body welds had not been carried out as prescribed. DB said the trainsets were safe and there would be no impact on customers, but the steel bodyshells did not meet the contractually-agreed standards and this could lead to higher long-term maintenance requirements.

The suppliers, operator and railway safety authority EBA have now reached an agreement on the reworking and testing of the defective welds, which will be carried out by Bombardier under warranty between early 2020 and mid-2023. This is not expected to affect passenger services.

Siemens Mobility is the general contractor for the ICE4 fleet under a framework contract awarded in May 2011. Subcontractor Bombardier is responsible around 30% of the overall project including the delivery of all painted bodyshells, the inside-framed bogies and the assembly of three types of car, including the driving vehicles.

According to the manufacturers, five more trainsets are now ready for acceptance, which will bring DB’s operational fleet up to 30 sets.