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Thursday, 4 June, 1998, 10:22 GMT 11:22 UK
The ICE train - pride of Germany's railways
train
The ICE has dramatically cut journey times
The type of train involved in the German rail disaster is the fastest in the country and carries an average of 65,000 passengers a day.

Inter City Express (ICE) trains are used on express services between major cities and can reach speeds of up to 280 kilometres (175 miles) an hour.

They were developed in the 1980s by a German consortium including the electronics giant Siemens.

In 1985 a prototype became the first rail vehicle in the world to exceed 400kilometres per hour (248mph).

On its introduction to regular service in 1991 the ICE train dramatically reduced journey times.

The travel time for the 850km (475m) Munich-Hamburg route - on which the disaster happened - was cut by more than two hours, to five hours 37 minutes.

First-generation ICE models, such as train that crashed on Wednesday, have two electric-powered locomotives, front and rear.

They can pull 14 passenger cars, with a maximum capacity of 759 people.

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BBC transport correspondent, Christopher Wain reports on the popularity of high-speed trains.
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03 Jun 98 | Europe
03 Jun 98 | Europe
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