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 PITTSBURGH, Aug. 4 /PRNewswire/ -- One of the world's fastest and most luxurious supertrains, Germany's sleek, white InterCityExpress -- the ICE Train -- will be open for walk-throughs by the public at Pennsylvania Station here Friday, Aug. 6, between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.
 The ICE Train, which has been clocked at more than 250 miles an hour, is making a tour of North America and being tested by Amtrak as the national passenger railroad prepares to order 26 new trains next year for service between Boston and Washington.
 The 26 trains are expected to cost between $450-$500 million and are part of Amtrak's ongoing effort to upgrade service along the Northeast Corridor. The ICE Train has been in operation since 1991 in Germany where it links several major cities.
 If selected to build trains for Amtrak, the American subsidiaries of AEG and Siemens, including AEG Westinghouse Transportation Systems, Inc., in West Mifflin, Pa., will build an American version of the train, creating as many as 2,000 American jobs over the next three years, officials of the two companies announced last week.
 AEG's facility here has about 850 employees and supplied the automated people mover at Pittsburgh International Airport. Siemens has train manufacturing sites in Georgia, Ohio and California.
 Competitive with Airplanes for Distances Up To 500 Miles
 "In almost all parts of the world, we suffer from daily traffic congestion in cities, on highways and at airports," said Klaus Oertel, a member of the AEG board of directors and the company's senior transportation executive. "In addition, limited natural and financial resources as well as environmental concerns make the efficient combination of road and airborne transportation with rail systems a necessity.
 "Because they eliminate the time it takes to travel to and from airports, high-speed electric trains can compete with airlines on high-traffic routes up to 500 miles. They also offer energy efficiencies, plus environmental and other benefits that neither automobiles nor airplanes can match."
 Luxurious As Well As Fast
 The ICE Train also offers a level of comfort comparable with that of first-class airline travel at a fraction of the cost.
 Pittsburgh is one of more than 20 cities the ICE Train will visit on a national tour during the next two months. The train includes one first-class coach, three second-class coaches, a second-class coach with special accommodations for business travelers and people with disabilities, a restaurant car and two power units (locomotives), one at each end of the train. On the national tour, where tracks are not electrified, the train will be pulled by modern diesel locomotives.
 All seats have headphones for audio entertainment and selected seats also have video screens to view news and entertainment. During the national tour, visitors to the ICE Train can view current news from CNN and a video of the ICE Train's European and U.S. travels. The restaurant car has both a full-service dining room and a bistro area for snacks.
 The train is air conditioned throughout and cars are pressurized for a quiet ride. All coaches have telephones and the special business coach has a fax machine. All seats also have work surfaces and an outlet for personal computers. Doors between cars open automatically as passengers approach them.
 "But the feature the ICE Train is best known for is its speed," Oertel said. "Each power unit has energy equal to 6,500 horsepower, for a combined total of 13,000 hp. This is enough to accelerate the eight-car, 562-ton train from zero to 125 mph in just two minutes and 32 seconds."
 The train was developed at a cost of more than $500 million by a dozen German companies under contract to GermanRail, from which it has been leased. Since entering service in Germany, it has doubled ridership on some routes by cutting travel times by as much as 50 percent. Business ridership has increased 30 percent.
 Penguins on ICE
 On Friday, Pittsburgh Penguins Ron Francis and Jimmy Paek will be signing autographs on board the ICE Train at Pittsburgh's Pennsylvania Station between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.
 Amtrak operates intercity passenger train service in 45 states and the District of Columbia over a 25,000-mile network. Its services include Metroliner Service, the nation's only high-speed trains which operate at 125 mph between Washington and New York.
 AEG, a member of the Daimler-Benz corporate family, is a world leader in the transportation industry and microelectronics, as well as industrial and postal automation. In the United States, AEG Transportation Systems, based in Pittsburgh, is a leading supplier of vehicles, systems and components for heavy and light-rail application, trolley bus systems and automatic train control systems. Half of the self-propelled rail cars in the United States are powered by AEG propulsion, including transit systems in New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Washington, Baltimore, Miami and San Francisco. The company has also produced completely automatic people mover vehicle systems for downtown Miami and major airports in Orlando and Tampa, Fla.; Atlanta; Seattle-Tacoma; Pittsburgh; and Las Vegas, among others.
 Siemens' worldwide Transportation Systems Group has annual sales of nearly $2.5 billion. In the United States, Siemens Transportation Systems, New York, is involved in all phases of rail-guided transportation, from rail signaling and safety systems to control systems, transmission lines and catenaries, as well as rolling stock for mass transit and main line services. Its subsidiary, Siemens Duewag Corporation, Sacramento, Calif., is the leading light-rail manufacturer in the United States, with light-rail projects in Sacramento, San Diego, Denver, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, and Edmonton and Calgary, Canada. Siemens Transportation Systems is part of the Siemens U.S. family of companies, which employs some 45,000 people, has annual sales totaling $5 billion, and has some 70 manufacturing and assembly sites nationwide.
 -0- 8/4/93
 /CONTACT: Ron Hart or Bob Henderson of AEG, 412-655-5571; Sue Martin or Cliff Black of Amtrak, 202-906-3860; or Alice Andors of Siemens, 202-434-4820/

CO: AEG Westinghouse Transportation Systems, Inc.; Amtrak; Siemens ST: Pennsylvania IN: TRN SU: PDT

DM-KC -- PG007 -- 9410 08/04/93 13:29 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Aug 4, 1993

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