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 PHILADELPHIA, Aug. 6 /PRNewswire/ -- One of the worlds' fastest and most luxurious supertrains, Germany's sle,? white InterCityExpress -- the ICE Train -- will be open for walk-through by the public at the 30th Street Station here from noon to 5 p.m. Sunday (Aug. 8).
 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 technical data and customer feedback we will gather during the test will help us prepare specifications for a new generation of American high-speed trains," said Bob Gall, Amtrak vice president of marketing and sales.
 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 will build an American version of the train providing as many as 2,000 American jobs over the next three years, some of them in Pennsylvania, officials of the two companies said last week.
 AEG's U.S. transportation activities are headquartered in Pittsburgh where AEG Westinghouse Transportation Systems, Inc. presently has about 850 employees. Siemens has train-equipment plants in California, Ohio and Georgia and all four facilities would participate. In addition, General Motors Electro-Motive Division, La Grange, Ill., would provide diesel-electric locomotives if required in the bid.
 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 Kenneth Fraelich, executive vice president for marketing and strategic development at AEG Westinghouse. "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 effectively with airlines on high-traffic routes up to 500 miles, and offer energy efficiencies, along with environmental benefits, that neither automobiles nor airplanes can match.
 "Our bid for the Amtrak contract will be for a uniquely American high-speed train -- one developed for American rails, and manufactured by American workers and welcomed by American travelers," said Jimmy D. Morrison, chief financial officer of Siemens Transportation Systems.
 Luxurious As Well As Fast
 The ICE Train also offers a level of comfort comparable with first- class airline travel at a fraction of the cost.
 Philadelphia is one of 25 cities the ICE Train will visit on a national tour during the next two months. The train here will include 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 an Amtrak F69 diesel locomotive manufactured by EMD and Siemens.
 All ICE Train 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. Many seats throughout the train have work surfaces and ample space for laptop computers. Doors between cars open automatically as passengers approach them.
 The feature the ICE Train is best known for is its speed. Each power unit has energy equal to 6,500 horsepower, for a combined total of 13,000 hp -- 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. Ridership by businessmen has increased 30 percent.
 In addition to the electric trainsets for the Northeast Corridor, Amtrak will ask manufacturers to develop a high-speed non-electric locomotive capable of 125 miles per hour for use on potential high-speed corridors outside the Northeast.
 Background On Participants
 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 Westinghouse Transportation Systems 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.
 Siemen's 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, Sand 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- 8/6/93
 /CONTACT: Sue Martin or Cliff Black of Amtrak, 202-906-3860; Ron Hart of AEG, 412-833-9352; or Alice Andors of Siemens, 202-434-4820/

CO: Amtrak; AEG Transportation Systems; Siemens Transportation Systems ST: Pennsylvania IN: TRN SU:

KC-JT -- PG013 -- 8013 08/06/93 14:22 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Aug 6, 1993

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