Switzerland (Photo: SBB).

SWITZERLAND: Swiss Federal Railways invited bids on April 20 for the supply of 59 double-deck trainsets, which it says will be its largest-ever rolling stock order.

Three types of train are planned: 20 inter-city sets 200 m long, 30 inter-regional trains of 200 m and nine inter-regional sets of 100 m. SBB puts the cost at around SFr2·1bn, with further options to cover additional vehicles as needed. Other options will include obtaining approval for use in Germany and Austria.

The trains are intended replace life-expired rolling stock from 2013, and will also increase capacity to meet growing demand. SBB has placed train orders worth SFr2·5bn in the last two years, and including the double-deckers, it expects to invest around SFr20bn in new rolling stock by 2030; all of this will be funded from its own resources.

SBB expects to increase the number of seat-km it provides each day by 40% between now and 2030. Most mainline services will be operated by double-deck coaches, and all regional trains will be air-conditioned.

SBB says the number of passengers has increased by 30% since the start of the Bahn 2000 timetable in December 2004, which saw a 26% increase in the number of trains operated. A further 50% growth in ridership is projected by 2030, with traffic around Zürich and Lac Leman predicted to grow by more than 100%.