SWISS FEDERAL Railways unveiled its first RABe514 EMU at Zürich on December 2 (RG 12.05 p770), presaging the launch of the 35 Siemens-built double-deck sets on the city’s growing S-Bahn network.

Following commissioning trials, the units are expected to start entering service in April. SBB is planning to exercise an option for a further 25 sets, but has already begun development of a ’third-generation’ S-Bahn trainset. Bids are to be invited next year for between 100 and 120 double-deck trains to enter service from 2010 at 15 sets per year.

SBB also expects to exercise options for more Stadler Flirt low-floor EMUs, bringing the fleet up to 137 sets. Plans are being drawn up for a mid-life refurbishment of the NPZ regional EMU motor cars and driving trailers by 2013 at a cost of SFr170m. SBB will order 194 low-floor intermediate cars worth SFr270m to replace older trailers converted from loco-hauled stock.

According to Head of Fleet Management Hans Käser, SBB will invest SFr2·2bn in passenger stock by 2011, and withdraw 1000 older vehicles over the next 10 years. A fleet of 297 EWIV inter-city coaches able to run at 200 km/h will be available by 2008, and 224 EuroCity coaches will be refurbished. Orders for a new generation of long-distance coaches are to be placed by 2012.