GERMANY: Škoda Transportation announced on November 2 that notified body Eisenbahn-Cert had granted TSI certification for the Type 109E3 locomotives and double-deck push-pull coaches which DB Regio has ordered for use on Nürnburg – Ingolstadt – München regional services operating over the high speed line.

When the contract for six push-pull sets was signed in August 2013 it had been envisaged that the fleet would be ready for the start of DB Regio’s operating contract in December 2016.

The manufacturer now expects the approvals process to be finalised at the beginning of 2019, enabling entry into service from spring 2019, with the entire fleet to be in service from June.

Vice-President of Sales Zdeněk Majer said delivery had been postponed by more than two years as a result of the ‘challenging’ development of pressure-sealed coaches and the need to test whole trainsets, which will operate in close proximity to ICE trainsets running at 300 km/h.

The push-pull sets are designed for a maximum speed of 200 km/h and will run at up to 190 km/h in service, with the 1h 45 min München – Nürnburg journey time being around 30 min slower than ICE services. Each six-car set will offer 676 seats in two classes, with a children’s area, wheelchair spaces and storage for 37 bicycles.

Škoda Transportation Chairman & CEO Petr Brzezina said completing the ‘technically and financially challenging project’ was a priority for investment group PPF which now owns the company, and it would ‘support our business plans on the European market’.