NS will run its new ICNG EMUs from Amsterdam to Brussels. Its fit-for-Belgium variant is dubbed ICNGB. ICNG stads for InterCity Nieuwe Generatie or New Generation.
According to the International Railway Journal, the certification files have been sent to the European Union Agency for Railways (ERA) which, if all legal requirements are met, will grant the Authorisation to Place on the Market (APOM),the legal permit to put a train into service.
The Nederlandse Spoorwegen began procurement of a new intercity trainset in July 2014. The respondents were Alstom, Siemens, Bombardier and Stadler.
In May 2016 NS announced that Alstom had won a contract for around 80 trainsets. At the end of May, the contract was finalized to include a total of 79 trainsets, including 49 5-car units, 30 8-car units, and two 8-car units equipped for operation in both the Netherlands and Belgium.
An additional order for 18 8-car units was later placed to operate international intercity services between Amsterdam and Brussels, bringing the total number of Belgium-equipped units to 20.
The first train arrived in the Netherlands in May 2020 to begin testing on the Dutch railway network. The ICNG will operate at speeds up to 200 kph on the high-speed line, a significant improvement over the existing equipment, which can only operate up to 160 kph.
The ICNG is based on the Coradia Stream trains by Alstom. These are popular trains, used in France, Luxembourg, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Norway, the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, Algeria and Senegal.
Fit for Belgium
The ICNGB or 3300 series trainsets come with eight carriages, each good for 410 seats. This version has an extra toilet and more luggage space, and is suitable for the Belgian rail protection system and 3kV overhead lines used by Infrabel.
The ICNGB are expected to be introduced in Belgium in 2025.
In the meantime, Alstom has started developing an ICNGD, for Germany, capable of operating using 1.5kV dc, 1.5kV 16.7Hz ac and 25kV 50Hz ac. Two prototypes have been ordered NS is expected to place a firm order in the near future.
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