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Franconia-Thuringia Express sprints with Siemens trains on the Nuremberg-Erfurt high-speed line

DB Regio trains speed at 190 kilometers per hour between Bavaria and Thuringia. Higher capacity, better service, new travel options to the north and south.
Franconia-Thuringia Express sprints with Siemens trains on the Nuremberg-Erfurt high-speed line

Germany’s fastest regional train between Bavaria and Thuringia is set to go. The new Franconia-Thuringia Express (FTX) operated by Deutsche Bahn (DB) is inaugurating service on the Nuremberg-Erfurt high-speed line on June 9, with the scheduled so-called small timetable change. The modern Siemens trains, ordered by the Free States of Bavaria and Thuringia, will run at a top speed of up to 190 kilometers per hour. To date, only long-distance trains have operated on the northern section of the VDE 8.1, the designation for this new and upgraded line.

Bavaria’s Transport Minister Christian Bernreiter and Heiko Büttner, DB Group Representative in Bavaria, together with Karl Blaim, Managing Director and Chief Financial Officer of Siemens Mobility, officially inaugurated the fast Regio train today at the futuristic railway station in Coburg and send it off on its first trip to the Thuringian capital. In Erfurt, Thuringia’s Infrastructure Minister Susanna Karawanskij welcomed the new express train.

The new RE 29 line (Nuremberg – Bamberg – Coburg – Erfurt) is the first change-free local transport connection between the Franconian city of Nuremberg and the Thuringian state capital of Erfurt. The new line now takes passengers from Nuremberg to Erfurt in 1 hour 53 minutes, cutting the travel time between the two cities by half.

Even more impressive is the time saved by passengers traveling between Coburg and Erfurt. They now need only 36 minutes and no longer have to change trains for the regional service. In the past, local passengers needed just over three hours and had to make two changes for the same journey.

The new Desiro HC: High-speed service on the VDE 8.1
Siemens Mobility has redesigned eight six-car Desiro HC double-decker trains specifically for use on the VDE 8.1 line. The new trains run at high speeds, are pressure-tight for passing other trains in tunnels and are equipped with the modern European Train Control System, which provides advanced control and safety technology for Germany’s rail system. Like the 18 four-car Desiro HC trains that entered service for the FTX back in December, the new six-car trains are equipped with WiFi service, advanced passenger information displays, large multi-purpose areas, and special windows that provide optimal mobile phone reception. The new trains can accommodate 634 passengers and up to 60 bicycles.

More frequent and faster – new rail routes, also with the Germany Ticket
Beginning with the scheduled so-called small timetable change, people in northern Bavaria are benefiting from further improvements in service, particularly in the Coburg area. Twice as many express trains now run from Coburg and Sonneberg to Nuremberg (RE 19) without transfers, providing 16 trains per direction between Coburg and Nuremberg every day. As a result, travel routes, such as between Coburg and the state capital Munich, are now much faster. The five pairs of trains operating on the RE 29 line supplement Coburg’s ICE connection to two-hourly service northwards, enabling travelers to get to Berlin or Frankfurt, for example, faster and more frequently.

Deutsche Bahn launched service of 18 four-car Desiro HC trains on the Franconia-Thuringia Express at the last timetable change in December 2023, enabling continuous half-hourly service between Nuremberg and Bamberg every day.

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