NETHERLANDS Railways awarded a 200m guilders contract to Bombardier on July 3 for the mid-life modernisation of 60 three-car Class SGM III Sprinter EMUs.

The interiors of the Randstad commuter trains will be completely renovated, with new ceilings, floors, glass partitions and seating. An extra vestibule will be fitted to the centre carriage, and noise reduced in the passenger area.

The traction motors, auxiliary power supply and compressors will be replaced, extending vehicle life by 15 years.

The first refurbished set is expected to enter service in 2003. It will be subject to thorough testing, and if successful, the rest of the fleet will be modernised in batches of four sets, with the last delivered early in 2006. n