FOLLOWINGlast November’s announcement that Adtranz planned to shut six production plants, several European railways have rallied round to save their local suppliers.

Portuguese Railways has selected a Siemens- Adtranz consortium to supply 34 suburban EMUs, with a stipulation that they must be assembled in Portugal. Adtranz is to build the stainless-steel units at the threatened Amadora works with electrical equipment from Siemens. The four-car Viratus sets will come in two versions: 22 for 25 kV services in Porto and 12 dual-voltage sets to allow through running onto Lisboa’s 1·5 kV Cascais line.

Norwegian State Railways is to buy six ’Express’ EMUs, based on the 210 km/h Signatur inter-city tilting trains. The four-car sets will be targeted at journeys in the 1h to 1h 30min range, including Oslo to Hamar, Halden and Tønsberg, with a smaller bistro and seats for 240. Bodyshells will come from Kalmar and traction equipment from Västerås, with final assembly at Strømmen.

Concerned about plans to close both Swiss factories, SBB President Benedikt Weibel summoned Adtranz’ Chief Executive Rolf Eckrodt on December 17. Weibel indicated that a fourth series of IC-2000 double-deckers could follow the 250 cars now rolling out of Pratteln - provided they are assembled in Switzerland.

In Germany, the head of the Social Democratic Party in Bavaria, Renate Scmidt, has suggested that state aid might be available to support continued production at Nürnberg.