Renfe, Spain's state-owned railway, officially announced on Saturday, March 24, 2001 in Madrid the results of the bidding for 32 high-speed trains to operate on the new line running from Madrid to Barcelona and the French border. Siemens won an order for 16 ICE 3 trains. The remaining 16 trains will be delivered by Spanish manufacturer Talgo. Renfe said the total value of the train order was approximately EUR740 million, not including maintenance and servicing by the manufacturers. The ICE 3, with a top speed of 350 km/h Europe's fastest series-production train, will cover the approximately 650 kilometers between Madrid and Barcelona in only two-and-a-half hours.
Following the announcement, Siemens CEO Dr. Heinrich v. Pierer said: "This is a great day for Spain, for the ICE 3 and for Siemens. Most of all, we see this as a confirmation of our international competitiveness and leading position in the rail industry." Renfe, along with two other prominent rail operators, Germany's Deutsche Bahn AG (DB) and Netherlands Railways (NS), has chosen the ICE 3 as a highly innovative and future-oriented high-speed train system. Pierer commented that "after Siemens restored its Medical business segment to solid profitability, our Transportation Systems and Power Generation Groups are also heading in the same direction. One can now see that our strategic concept is right - and successful. Siemens is focusing its electronics know-how on high-growth segments of the future."
"This success in Spain underscores the fact that the ICE 3 concept is a significant technical innovation for high-speed trains," emphasized Herbert H. Steffen, President of Siemens Transportation Systems. "The ICE 3 uses a new principle for traction for the first time. The train no longer has a front power car which pulls the train along. Instead, the traction components are distributed beneath the entire length of the train, and 50% of the axles are powered directly. This enables the ICE 3 to accelerate twice as fast as, for example, the ICE 1." Its traction power is also stronger than other high-speed trains, enabling the ICE 3 to cope with steeper gradients. The ICE 3 also offers its passengers greater comfort than other high-speed train systems, noted Steffen. Depending on the number of passengers being served, two half-trains can be automatically coupled to form one long train. Above all, the system sets new standards for economic efficiency. Steffen: "Its ease of maintenance, substantial transport capacity and the great distance it is capable of traveling per year all result in very low life-cycle costs unmatched by anything else in the high-speed sector."
The ICE 3 is a true European, said Steffen. "The ICE trains being delivered to Renfe will be equipped with state-of-the-art control systems meeting ETCS (European Train Control System) standards, and thus can be operated across borders in the European high-speed train network."