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Siemens unveils high-speed train

At InnoTrans 2018 it also presented its digital innovations for an increasingly networked "total mobility system"

Velaro Novo has a lightweight construction but increases passenger space by 10 per cent
Velaro Novo has a lightweight construction but increases passenger space by 10 per cent

Siemens has unveiled the 250-300km/h Velaro Novo high-speed train, which has been undergoing tests since April 2018 and claims to set new standards for efficiency and sustainability.


It uses 30 per cent less energy than previous Velaro models, which translates to average savings of 1,375 tons of CO2 a year. The train’s weight is reduced by 15 per cent because of its lightweight construction while available space for passengers was increased by ten per cent.


"The Velaro Novo is our answer to global demands in high-speed transport. What we are presenting today is the result of five years of development: a platform offering uniquely optimised energy consumption and maintenance costs, as well as maximum flexibility and reliability," said Sabrina Soussan, CEO of the mobility division at Siemens.


The car body is based on the empty tube concept with no permanent installations inside the car and the interior can be furnished according to customer wishes. This means the trains can be adapted to an operator’s new needs even after years in operation. Maintenance costs are reduced thanks to the integration of measurement and sensor technology.


The Novo test car has been integrated into the ICE S operated by DB Systemtechnik and is currently undergoing test runs throughout Germany. Siemens can place the first trains in service as of 2023.


The company has previously developed four generations of the Velaro. The trains have been in service since 2000 and are currently operating in Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland, Spain, France, China, Russia, the United Kingdom and Turkey. In Germany, the Velaro is known as the ICE 3 (series 407), operated by Deutsche Bahn AG.


Under the motto ‘Shaping connected mobility’ Siemens also presented a number of other digital innovations to make rail transport more efficient, safer and reliable in what it describes as an increasingly networked "total mobility system." They include:

  • MindConnect Rail: a modular and flexible software and hardware solution for ensuring secure data transmissions from safety-critical infrastructures. It a central component of the intelligent transport infrastructure needed for the digital integration of rail and road transport and tomorrow’s networked "total mobility system"
  • MindSphere: each train generates large amounts of data that provides information on the train’s condition and functionality of its components and systems. The same is true for rail infrastructures. Siemens’ open IoT operating system MindSphere uses artificial intelligence (AI) to comprehensively manage this data, making possible completely new solutions for the rail industry
  • Railigent: the application suite from Siemens enables operators to intelligently use rail data, optimise their maintenance and operations, and guarantee hundred-per cent availability. Railigent is based on MindSphere
  • Cloud-based solutions: the "interlocking in the cloud" will revolutionise long-distance rail transport. With this system, interlockings as well as operator control logic can in the future be centralised at one location, free of spatial limitations. Siemens is already working with partners on implementing this advanced technology
  • Digital Station: covers a broad spectrum of functions, ranging from infrastructure management and universal intermodal travel information to data analytics needed to continuously optimise operations.

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