INTRO: Harry Hondius MSc reports on the Dutch order for 18 four-car and 17 six-car trainsets destined to replace the dog-nosed T and V EMUs dating from the 1960s

JULY 21 saw NS Reizigers place a €248m order with Bombardier Transportation for 18 four-car and 17 six-car EMUs to operate on stopping services in the Randstad (RG 8.05 p461). Delivery will run from September 2008 to October 2009; options for a further 800 cars could eventually take the contract value to €1·2bn.

The new ’Sprinters’ are 1·5 kV DC derivatives of the ET425 regional EMUs used by German Railway, with some changes to the car and bogie dimensions. They will replace the 29 four-car Type T EMUs, of which 31 were built in 1961-64 by Werkspoor and AEI, and part of the remaining fleet of 198 Type V two-car EMUs, 246 of which were delivered in 1966-76 by Werkspoor, Talbot and Holec. Found on stopping services all over the Netherlands, these trains have series-parallel resistance control equipment, nose-suspended traction motors and horn-guide bogies with Commonwealth bolsters.

A four-car Sprinter will have one and a half times the capacity of a Type V set and a six-car Sprinter compares broadly with a Type T EMU; 213 and 348 standing passengers at 4/m2 can be accommodated in the four-car and six-car sets (Table I).

Also expected to be withdrawn are the nine SM90 prototype two-car EMUs dating from 1993, which run between Zwolle and Emmen. Intended to form a new generation of stopping trains with AC traction motors, they did not meet expectations and a series build never materialised. Together with the DM90 and the InterRegio double-deck fleet supplied between 1994 and 2004, the SM90 was designed by NS. All these trains of classic welded steel construction had bodies 3200mm wide at seat level, allowing 2+3 seating. Although most of the Dutch network can now accept trains of this width, NS Reizigers has reverted with the Sprinters to straight-sided 2840mm wide bodies with the trains conforming to UIC profile 505-1.

The air-conditioned Sprinters are the first trains to be built to a performance specification rather than to an NS design. Bodyshells are to a welded aluminium design from Siemens, which is the principal subcontractor, receiving €144m of the order value. End cars have a crashworthy nose able to withstand an impact force of 2·5 MJ. The liquid-cooled electrical equipment will come from Siemens, and bogies will be built at Bombardier’s Siegen plant. Bodyshells will be fabricated by Siemens at Uerdingen, where the six-car trains will be assembled; Bombardier’s Aachen workshops will assemble the four-car sets.

The heating, cooling and ventilation equipment is roof-mounted, with other items housed below the floor. The AC traction motors are suspended from the frame and drive via a toothed coupling to the gearbox, which is partially suspended from the frame so that half the weight rests on the axle. Three of the five bogies are powered on the four-car sets, and four out of seven on the six-car units.

Electrically-operated double-leaf sliding-plug doors are installed, CCTV is provided for personal security, and the passenger information system displays destinations inside and outside the cars. Equipment meets DIN5510-2 Level 3 fire protection standards.

Up to three Sprinters will be able to run in multiple to form a 300m long train. With a wide doorway and a floor height designed for level boarding at platforms with heights of 760 to 840mm thanks to a small retractable step, passenger flows should be faster than on earlier trains. The ratio of power to weight and space is virtually identical to the SM90 EMUs, but faster acceleration and braking should give improved performance.

Controversy surrounded the contract in early April when it became clear that NS was poised to order the trains, with Alstom asking a judge in Utrecht to rule in its favour after a wrangle over the bidding process. The judge considered that NS Reizigers should call fresh bids, indicating more clearly the selection criteria to be used. On July 7 the higher court in Amsterdam overturned the earlier judgement and ruled that NS Reizigers had complied with the bidding requirements. This paved the way for the contract to be placed. The contract covers supply of spares for 10 years, giving prices of €29500/m2 and €29100/m2 for the four-car and six-car sets respectively.

CAPTION: ABOVE: Sprinters will start to take over local services in the Randstad from the end of 2008

BELOW: Fig 1. Sprinter end cars have centre doors, giving six doorways on a four-car set and 10 on a six-car set

CAPTION: A multi-purpose area with lateral seating is included in one car on a four-car Sprinter; there will be two cars with this layout in a six-car trainset Images: NS Reizigers

TABLE: Table I. Comparative data for NS single-deck suburban EMUs

Four-car Sprinter Six-car Sprinter Type T Type V SM90

Axle arrangement Bo`(2) (2)’` (Bo)`Bo` Bo’ (Bo)’ (2)’(2)’ (2)’(Bo)’Bo’ 2’2’Bo’Bo’Bo’Bo’2’2’ 2’Bo’Bo’2’ 2’Bo’Bo’2’

Overall length mm 68929 100100 99480 51000 51450

Car width mm 2840 2840 2780 2780 3200

Empty weight tonnes 129 176 169 88 96·5

Traction motor rating kW 6 x 250 8 x 250 8 x 127 4 x 127 4 x 278

First class seats 40 56 42 24 24

Second class seats 144 208 230 118 113

Fold-down seats 38 68 - - -

Weight per unit area kg/m 2 659 619 611 620 614

Power to weight ratio kW/tonne 11·63 11·36 6 5·77 11·52

TABLE: Table I: Common technical data for four-car and six-car Sprinters

Buffing load kN 1500

Power supply 1·5VDC

Maximum speed km/h 160

Roof height above rail top mm 4210

Floor height at entrance mm 800

Floor height over end bogies mm 1055

Floor height in mid-car mm 850

Doorway width mm 1300

Maximum axleload tonnes 18·5

Wheelbase, end bogies mm 2300

Wheelbase, articulation bogies mm 2800

Wheel diameter new/used mm 850/780

Pantographs 2

Traction inverters 2

Magnetic rail brakes 2

Dynamic and electro-pneumatic brakes yes

Minimum curve radius m 150 (depot 120)