* Deutsche Bahn trims order by 31 trains - document
* Move cuts order by almost 1 billion euros
* Companies say order for first 130 trains unaffected
* Deutsche Bahn orders trains from Siemens Rival Bombardier
FRANKFURT, Sept 20 Germany's Deutsche Bahn
has trimmed an order for next-generation high-speed
trains built by Siemens by almost 1 billion euros
($1.4 billion), an internal Deutsche Bahn document seen by
"As part of modifications decided in early 2013, the
procurement volume ... has been reduced by 31 trains," the
This marks another setback for Siemens, which has been
dogged by delays at its rail business, incurring project charges
of more than 250 million euros this year alone.
The engineering group has been at loggerheads with Deutsche
Bahn over the delayed delivery of ICE high-speed trains, which
forced the rail operator to push back from this year plans to
launch a direct train connection from Frankfurt to London.
Deutsche Bahn's move to buy fewer next-generation ICx trains
than planned is also a major embarrassment for Siemens because
the 6 billion euro order signed in 2011 was at the time
celebrated as the biggest in Siemens' 166-year history.
Then, state-controlled Deutsche Bahn agreed to buy 130
trains immediately and 90 later. The deal, valid through 2030,
also gave Deutsche Bahn the option of ordering an additional 80
trains at any time.
Deutsche Bahn and Siemens both said the order for the first
130 ICx trains, to be delivered between 2017 and 2020, was
"Anything beyond that is based on options from the framework
agreement that relate to the time after 2020," a spokesman for
Deutsche Bahn said on Friday. Siemens also declined to comment
on the delivery of further trains.
TOO MUCH TO HANDLE
Deutsche Bahn had planned to use the ICx trains, which will
be lighter and more fuel efficient than previous models, and
others, to replace its ageing InterCity (IC) fleet.
Now it looks like Deutsche Bahn is taking its business
elsewhere. The internal document showed it is planning to buy
another 17 double-decker IC trains from Siemens' Canadian rival
Bombardier for 293 million euros, in addition to 27 it
has already ordered.
Siemens, which also makes products ranging from gas turbines
to ultrasound machines, has been going head-to-head with major
rivals like Bombardier and France's Alstom in the
highly competitive market for long-distance trains.
It trumped Bombardier for a $2.4 billion contract to build
carriages for Britain's Thameslink rail line, and Alstom went to
court trying to block Eurostar from finalising a 600 million
euro train order with Siemens.
But there have been growing signs that the company has taken
on more than it can handle.
It emerged earlier this year that the delivery of trains to
Eurostar, the operator of the Channel Tunnel passenger train
service, would be delayed, with Siemens saying it had
underestimated the project's complexity.
And in July, Siemens pulled out of the bidding to provide
trains for Britain's multi-billion pound Crossrail project,
saying it no longer had the capacity to deliver 600 carriages.