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Deutsche Bahn to recall part of ICE train fleet

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Deutsche Bahn to recall part of ICE train fleet
A Deutsche Bahn worker checks an ICE axle. Photo: DPA
20:01 CEST+02:00
German national railway operator Deutsche Bahn plans to recall part of its high-speed ICE train fleet this Saturday because the manufacturers have not provided reliable guarantees for axles which have caused concern since a derailment in Cologne this July and another in Hamburg this week.

The company asked manufacturers Siemens and Bombardier on Friday to make "clear and binding declarations abut the durability and safety check intervals of the ICE axles," Bahn boss Hartmut Mehdorn said. Both are necessary for the rail operator to create reliable schedules for rail traffic, he added.

"Safety has absolute priority," Mehdorn said. "We see ourselves as having been left dangling (by the consortium), which has confronted us with unreliable and unclear information."

Deutsche Bahn customers have experienced substantial delays and cancellations recently due to more frequent safety checks on the ICE-T trains and they will continue to do so until the axle problem can be solved. The T version of the high-speed trains is so named for its tilt technology and not as an homage to the famous US rapper.

The measures affect lines connecting several large cities including Berlin, Hamburg, Munich, Frankfurt and Stuttgart.

Travellers seeking information on delays should call the Deutsche Bahn service hotline toll free within Germany on 08000 / 99 66 33 or look on the railway's website www.bahn.de.

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