"Our customers feel let down by siemens," said berthold huber, head of long-distance transport, in berlin on thursday. The railroad could have used the eight trains "very well," especially for christmas traffic. Regardless of this, the railroad was technically well prepared for the winter.
Following the cancellation at short notice by the manufacturer siemens, the railroad expects the eight new ICE trains to be in service in two months at the earliest. Faulty computer programs for train control had to be reworked and rechecked, said volker kefer, chief technical officer of bahn, in berlin: "that can’t be done in days or weeks."The eight velaro ice 3 trains were supposed to be ready for operation at the beginning of december. Siemens made the new delivery delay public on wednesday evening.
For the new timetable, which was announced on 9. December, the later deployment will have no consequences, said huber, head of long-distance transport. Originally, 16 of the new ices were to have entered service a year ago.
Kefer reported that the software problems were discovered during test runs on the 2. Until 5. November had been discovered. Two programs for train control did not work as planned. On the one hand, the connection to the guidance and safety technology broke off during the journey. In addition, there were problems with communication between the front and rear sections of the train. After the experts and an expert had not been successful even with auxiliary programs, it was decided on tuesday to revise the software. This now sets in motion another lengthy phase of development and approval.
Huber said he expected all 16 velaros to be delivered gradually over the coming year. The software error had no effect on the production of the other trains. However, admissions procedures in neighboring states were also delayed. So the trains could probably only travel through belgium in 2015 and through northern france in 2016. It will also take that long before the first ICE with passengers can travel to london on schedule.
Siemens did not want to commit to a new date. "We can’t give a current timetable," a siemens spokesman said on thursday. Siemens regrets the delay extraordinarily. "We are very, very sorry."The spokesman did not want to say anything about the question of whether siemens would have to pay a contractual penalty for the renewed postponement. Railroad manager kefer said it was too early to quantify compensation. This is only possible after delivery of the ICE.
After the delay in delivery last year, the group had negotiated a free ice worth around 30 million euros with the railroad company. Railroad boss rudiger grube had also complained publicly about siemens because of the train delays. The railroad is "highly dissatisfied" with the quality of delivery. Siemens manufactures the units in plants in krefeld, nurnberg and graz in austria.
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