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The Intercity-Express — in AustriaDenmark and SwitzerlandInterCityExpress (formerly also syntax in Germany); abbreviation:ICE (German pronunciation: [iːtseːˈʔeː]) — is a system of high-speed trains predominantly running in Germany and neighbouring countries. It is the highest service category offered by DB Fernverkehr and is the flagship of Deutsche Bahn. The brand name "ICE" is among the best-known brands of Germany, with a brand awareness close to 100%, according to DB.[1]

The "ICE" name is also used for the vehicles used on the system, which were specifically developed for the system starting in the early 1980s. There are currently 259 trainsets in five different versions of the ICE vehicles in use, named ICE 1 (deployed in 1991),ICE 2 (1996), ICE T (1999), ICE 3 (1999) and ICE TD (2001-2003, back in service 2007). The ICE 3, including its variant models, is made by a consortium led by Bombardier and Siemens.

Apart from domestic use, the trains can also be seen in countries neighbouring Germany. There are, for example, ICE 1 lines toBasel and Zürich, Switzerland. ICE 3 trains also run to Liège and Brussels, Belgium[2] and at lower speeds to Amsterdam in the Netherlands.[3] On June 10, 2007, a new line between Paris and Frankfurt/Stuttgart was opened, jointly operated by ICE and TGVtrains.

While ICE 3M run the Paris-to-Frankfurt branch (with exceptions to trains 9553/9552, which operates with TGV POS equipment and cross-crewed with both SNCF and DB staff), SNCF'sTGV runs from Paris to Munich (via Stuttgart), with mixed crews on both trains. [4][5]

German and Austrian ICE T trains run to Vienna, Austria. On December 9, 2007 the ICE TD was introduced on the service from Berlin via Hamburg to Århus and Copenhagen, Denmark.

The Spanish railway operator RENFE also employs trains based on ICE 3 trains (Siemens Velaro).[6] Wider versions were ordered by China for the Beijing-Tianjin high-speed rail (CRH 3) and by Russia for the Moscow - Saint Petersburg and the Moscow - Nizhny Novgorod routes (Velaro RUS). 
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