Deutsche Bahn wants to attract more passengers to its trains with new seats and a changed interior design in the ICE. Travelers will be able to see the new design for the first time in December 2023 in a train of the new ICE 3neo, as DB announced on Wednesday. From that date, the equipment will be installed in all newly procured long-distance trains. CEO Richard Lutz spoke of a "small design revolution."
The focus is on the redesigned seats, where the upholstery, covers and adjustability have been revised. There are also additional power outlets and storage areas at the seat, as well as light oak veneer and warm lighting designed to make the trains more homey. There's also a tablet holder and coat hooks on each seatback, and the covers are made of "high-quality fabric with 85 percent wool content." Shades of blue are planned for second class, and shades of gray for first class.
The rail boss said, "Travel, work, relax - and feel as comfortable as in your own living room at 300 kilometers per hour: the new design is geared to our passengers' demands for modern travel comfort."
Trains are used for several decades, DB emphasized. "In addition to a timeless design, this requires durable, hard-wearing materials." According to the statement, an average of four travelers use a seat in an ICE train every day - "that's 1,500 times a year they take a seat." The new materials have been extensively and intensively tested for abrasion, light resistance and cleaning results.
The previous design of most ICEs largely dates back to the 1990s. When the new ICE4 was introduced in 2017, there was a lot of criticism about the seats. Deutsche Bahn eventually replaced them. To make sure this doesn't happen again, 900 passengers have pre-tested the seats of the new design as test subjects. It is only intended for new trains; existing vehicles will not be upgraded.
Photo by Daniel Abadia