The ceremony on 23 July to celebrate the inaugural journey of the ICE 3 entering service between Frankfurt and Paris., attended by German minister for transport and digital infrastructure Alexander Dobrindt, marked a significant step forward in Franco-German high speed services.
The new class 407 ICE 3 offers comfort and improved quality of service through the addition of screens displaying real time information for customers, an onboard restaurant with 16 seats, lifts to improve access for wheelchair users, and improved technical reliability and lower energy consumption.
The introduction of ICE 3 continues the DB-SNCF modernisation programme which began in 2012 with the arrival of TGV Euroduplex.
The extension of the DB-SNCF cross-border high-speed rail service partnership runs until 2020.
Rüdiger Grube added:
We are delighted that the new ICE 3, our most modern train, now runs between France and Germany. Our three high speed connections (Paris-Frankfurt, Paris-Stuttgart-Munich and Frankfurt-Marseille) operated in cooperation, represent the heart of our transnational transport.
Almost 12 million passengers travelled by ICE and TGV between France and Germany since the launch of the Alleo joint venture in June 2007 and from 2008 – 2014 passenger numbers have increased by 44%. We will continue this success story in cooperation with SNCF.
First half results in 2015 confirmed a 4% increase to approximately 900,000 passengers.
This success has helped to strengthen ties between our two countries, and between our two companies
, said SNCF CEO Guillaume Pepy.
We have learned much from each other; from the train attendants who work on both trains, the technicians who make the trains run, to the Franco-German management teams which are steering this partnership.
Our shared service is now based on the latest high speed equipment that is, DB ICE 3 and TGV SNCF Euroduplex,” he added. “The opening of the second section of the TGV Est between Paris and Strasbourg in spring 2016 will strengthen this DB-SNCF alliance.