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Specializing in Märklin Trains & Toys
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Amtrak ICE on Display at Washington, DC's Union Station - July, 1993


The following article was originally published in the
English-language edition of
The Marklin Club Magazine
TELEX   Vol. 2 No. 5, December,1993.
(The article was edited to include additional photographs.)

Link to Amtrak's Web Site


Siemens and AEG, with the cooperation of Amtrak and the Deutschen Bundesbahn, have brought a DB InterCity Express Train to the United States for a six month technical trial and demonstration. After spending July undergoing testing,the ICE begins a two-month national tour of public displays in August and will then enter Amtrak's Metroliner service on the Northeast Corridor from October through December 1993.

Amtrak ICE being transferred from custom-built roll-on/roll-off carriers to railroad tracks at Port of Baltimore, Maryland after shipment from Bremerhaven, Germany. Amtrak ICE at Port of Baltimore - 1993

A series of technical tests verified the train's ability to operate safely on U.S. tracks -- the Amtrak ICE Train has been tested at up to 162 mph on the Northeast Corridor. Amtrak has applied to the Federal Railroad Administration for a waiver to the Corridor's current 125 mph speed limit in order to operate the ICE at up to 140 mph in revenue Metroliner Service.

Amtrak ICE at Ivy City Maintenance Facility

Amtrak ICE at Ivy City Maintenance Facility in Washington, DC during testing prior to twenty-five city national tour

Amtrak's ICE Train consists of two powered units, a first-class coach, three second class coaches, an ICE coach service car, and a restaurant car. The Amtrak ICE configuration, which is approximately one-half the length of a typical 14-coach DB ICE, accommodates 285 passengers and includes at least one of each type of ICE coach in service in Germany. The restaurant car (similar to the Märklin's #4373 Bord Restaurant car) features a 24-seat, full-service restaurant as well as a Bistro that accommodates 26 people. The service car (similar to Marklin #4373) has a private, reservable conference room equipped with a fax/copier. The service car and the first class coach feature private telephone booths.

Amtrak ICE enroute from
Washington, DC to New York City as Metroliner Train 112.

Amtrak ICE as Metroliner 112

The Amtrak ICE Train is 655 feet long and weighs 562 tons. The powered units are each rated for a maximum continuous output of 4.6 megawatts. The train features regenerative braking that allows it to return an average of eight percent of the electrical energy used to the power supply network.

Amtrak ICE at Harve de Grace, Maryland - 1993

Amtrak ICE crossing the Susquehanna River at Havre de Grace, Maryland.

The Amtrak ICE Train was modified slightly for operation in the U.S. The couplers between the coaches were lengthened to accommodate tighter radius curves than the ICE experiences in Europe. The two 6500 hp powered units were derated to 4200 hp as a result of electrical conversions required by differences in the U.S. and German operating voltage and frequency. The DB logos on the sides of the powered units and coaches were replaced with Amtrak logos. The Amtrak logo was also painted on the nose of each powered unit. The red and lavender stripe on the ICE was not replaced the typical red, white, and blue Amtrak stripe.

One of two GM/Siemens EMD F69PH diesel locomotives used to pull the Amtrak ICE on non-electrified portions of the twenty-five city national tour.

(The two F69PHs were originally built as prototypes for an Amtrak bid that was eventually won by the GE Genesis. See Jim Hebner's Amtrak Photo Archives for more information.)

EMD F69PH painted in ICE color scheme

Amtrak will use information gathered from the technical tests as it puts together a request for proposal for 26 high-speed train sets later this year. Amtrak will seek proposals from suppliers with the capability to manufacture all or a significant portion of the trainsets in the U.S. Siemens and AEG note that they already have an established transportation manufacturing base in the United States and would expand that base if they were to be successful in the bid to Amtrak.

Amtrak ICE Console - Union Station - 1993

Interior of Amtrak ICE engineers cab while on display at Washington, DC's Union Station. Amtrak reported that 110,000 people toured
the ICE on its 25 city national tour.

While the national tour and the Metroliner service were enthusiastically received by rail fans and proponents of high-speed rail service in the United States, the model railroad enthusiast has not been left out of the fun. Märklin has announced production of a special edition HO-scale train set commemorating the Amtrak ICE as configured for the 1993 North America Tour.

The #3700 set, which will be limited to a world-wide production of 5000 units, will include one powered end car with motor, one powered end car without motor, one intermediate 1st class car, three intermediate 2nd class cars, one service car, and one "Bord Restaurant" dining car. The set will feature Märklin's digital high-efficiency propulsion system with five-pole armature; load-dependent motor control; adjustable maximum speed, acceleration, and braking delay; electronic reverse unit; and direction-dependent current pickup through the powered end car at the front of the train. The powered end cars will have metal frames, engineers cabs with interior details, U.S.-style pantographs, and digitally controlled triple headlights that change over to dual red marker lights depending on the direction of travel. All coaches will all have interior details and digitally controlled interior lighting. The entire train set (8 units) will be 202.6 cm (79-3/4") in length and can be used on conventional as well as digital layouts.

Markln #3700 Amtrak ICE Ad - 1993

Märklin photo of #3051 Northlander and #3700 Amtrak ICE

Specializing in Märklin Trains and Toys
Post Office Box 1133 - Great Falls, Virginia - 22066

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