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Franconia-Thuringia Express inaugurates with ultra-modern Siemens trains

The new, red Desiro HC will begin service for the Franconia-Thuringia Express in two stages: In December 2023, 18 new four-car trains will start operating on four routes in Franconia and southern Thuringia. The second stage will follow in June 2024, when eight new six-car Desiro HC trains, specially designed for a top speed of 190 kilometers per hour and fitted with 634 seats, start running on the VDE 8.1 (German Unity Transport Project Number 8) high-speed line in the direction of Erfurt. They will be among the fastest regional trains operating in Germany. Passenger access to train cars has been optimized for serving the region’s busiest stations with a platform height of 0.76 meters.
Bärbel Fuchs, Managing Director of BEG: “Passengers on the Franconia-Thuringia Express can look forward not only to more comfortable new trains, but also to a big improvement in service: On most of the lines, the regional trains will run more frequently than at present. For example, we have ordered and financed 20 percent more regional express trains in order to provide daily half-hour service between Bamberg, Erlangen, and Nuremberg when the new timetable takes effect. And two trains will run every hour between Bamberg and Kronach in the future, providing half-hourly connections for most stations on this route as well. As of June 2024, we will connect Coburg with Bamberg and Nuremberg on an hourly basis via the new high-speed line. The new trains will also provide extremely fast connections five times a day from Franconia to Erfurt, where there are interesting connections to many parts of eastern and northern Germany.”   
Hansrüdiger Fritz, CEO DB Regio Bayern Regional Management: “The timetable change in December 2023 will mark the beginning of a new era for the Franconia-Thuringia Express. We will be significantly expanding our offering of climate-friendly rail service with the addition of the new trains. On the high-volume Nuremberg-Bamberg route, we will be providing between 100 and 200 additional seats per train. At the same time, a train will run from Nuremberg to Bamberg and back every half hour during the day. Passengers will benefit from greater comfort and convenience, such as WiFi service and highly dependable cell phone reception. We are delighted to be working together with the states of Bavaria and Thuringia as well as Siemens Mobility on the further modernization of our train fleet, and excited that we will be operating even faster trains beginning in June 2024.”
Dr. Elmar Zeiler, Head of Commuter and Regional Trains at Siemens Mobility: “Siemens Mobility is proud that our Desiro HC double-decker trains will be making a significant contribution to strengthening rail and driving the mobility transition in our home region of Franconia and Thuringia. The proven Desiro HC trains are especially powerful and comfortable and are highly popular with passengers.” 

Two-stage concept: The new trains will begin service on these routes 

Following the timetable change in December 2023, the four-car Desiro HC will serve as the standard train on the following routes:
  • the Nuremberg-Bamberg-Würzburg/Saalfeld Regional Express (on the Nuremberg-Bamberg section in double traction, i.e., two multiple-unit trains coupled together)
  • the Nuremberg-Bamberg-Coburg/Saalfeld Regional Express (also operating in double traction on the Nuremberg-Lichtenfels section)
  • the Bamberg-Kronach regional train (mixed operation with current trains until June 2024)
  • the Nuremberg-Bamberg-Coburg Regional Express via the new VDE 8.1 high-speed line will continue to operate with the existing double-decker trains until June 2024.
Following the minor mid-year timetable change in June 2024, the especially powerful six-car Desiro HC trains will run on the Nuremberg-Bamberg-Coburg-Sonneberg/Erfurt regional express route, via the high-speed VDE 8.1 line. The complexity of developing new trains for this particular route accounts for the two-stage commissioning process.
Note: Construction work will still be taking place between Bamberg and Nuremberg from December 10 to 16, and buses will replace the trains. During this period, the new trains will not operate on this section of the route, but only on the remaining sections served by the Franconia-Thuringia Express.
Additional information
Deutsche Bahn has more information about the Franconia-Thuringia Express and the new trains available on its website.

Copyright DB AG/Hans-Martin Issler 

Copyright DB AG/Hans-Martin Issler 

Copyright DB AG/Hans-Martin Issler 

Copyright DB AG/Hans-Martin Issler 

Copyright DB AG/Hans-Martin Issler 

Copyright DB AG/Hans-Martin Issler 

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Siemens Mobility is a separately managed company of Siemens AG. As a leader in intelligent transport solutions for more than 175 years, Siemens Mobility is constantly innovating its portfolio. Its core areas include rolling stock, rail automation and electrification, a comprehensive software portfolio, turnkey systems as well as related services. With digital products and solutions, Siemens Mobility is enabling mobility operators worldwide to make infrastructure intelligent, increase value sustainably over the entire lifecycle, enhance passenger experience and guarantee availability. In fiscal year 2022, which ended on September 30, 2022, Siemens Mobility posted revenue of €9.7 billion and employed around 38,200 people worldwide. Further information is available at:
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Silke Thomson-Pottebohm

PressesprecherIn Siemens Mobility 

+49 174 306 3307

Britta Barlage

Sprecherin Bayern Deutsche Bahn AG

+49 89 1308 – 1510