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Deutsche Bahn's new trains should improve mobile phone coverage

Deutsche Bahn's new trains should improve mobile phone coverage

Deutsche Bahn's new trains should improve mobile phone coverage

Despite the coronavirus crisis, Deutsche Bahn is anticipating a sharp increase in passenger numbers in the coming months - and is therefore investing in 30 new ICE trains. The new trains have specially-designed windows that should ensure better mobile phone connectivity in future. 

Deutsche Bahn invests in new ICE trains

Deutsche Bahn will invest a total of one billion euros in 30 new ICE-3 express trains, built by Siemens. This was announced by DB Chief Richard Lutz and Siemens Vice President Roland Busch in Berlin on Wednesday. These trains will operate on a new high-speed line between Munich and Cologne by the end of 2022. 

The new trains will also offer better connectivity for mobile phones, by using so-called frequency-permeable disks for the first time. Up until now, all train windows have been equipped with a heat-insulating metal layer, which, for all its insulation benefits, has the unfortunate side effect of keeping out cellular waves. 

Signals are therefore routed inside the train using a repeater - but, as anyone who’s ever been on a train in Germany knows, these are notoriously unreliable and black holes are a far-too-common occurrence. In the new trains, the panes are ground down to allow signal waves to pass through, meaning that the repeater will no longer be necessary. Hopefully, this means that patchy signal on trains in Germany will soon be a thing of the past. 

Billions being invested in German railway infrastructure

The background to Deutsche Bahn’s new financial offensive is the federal government’s climate package, which was unveiled last year. One of its cornerstone policies was the lowering of VAT on long-distance train travel, to promote climate-friendly means of transportation

Thanks in part to these cheaper tickets, passenger numbers spiked at the beginning of the year, before declining significantly due to the coronavirus crisis. However, Lutz remains optimistic that Deutsche Bahn can continue to grow this year: “We are seeing a faster recovery than we anticipated,” he said. 

Abi

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Abi Carter

Abi studied History & German at the University of Manchester. She has since worked as a writer, editor and content marketeer, but still has a soft spot for museums, castles...

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