NETHERLANDS: The first of 51 additional VIRM double-deck EMUs for NS Reizigers was formally handed over at Bombardier’s Talbot plant in Aachen on June 27. Ordered in 2006, they will bring the number of VIRM cars to 872, with 87 000 seats providing almost one-third of the capacity of the entire NS fleet.

The first of the double-deck EMUs was rolled out of the Aachen plant in 1994 to an NS design (RG 5.94 p185). The railway purchased the key components, including Stork-RMO Flexy bogies for the end cars, SIG bogies for the centre cars and Holec GTO drives, with Talbot building the car bodies, and undertaking final assembly. The first orders comprised 34 three-car and 47 four-car units, which were subsequently lengthened to four and six-car formations. Another 33 six-car sets were also ordered at the same time.

The latest cars have been ordered from Bombardier, with Alstom supplying the electrical equipment. The bodies are being built at Görlitz, and the bogies for the end cars come from Bombardier’s Siegen plant. Intermediate bogies are supplied by Alstom from Salzgitter, the motors from Ornans, the IGBTs from Tarbes and the control equipment from Villeurbanne. Gears are coming from Voith and the air-conditioning from Hagenuk. Electrodynamic braking is fitted, along with Knorr-Oerlikon electro-pneumatic brakes and permanent-magnet track brakes on one non-driven bogie per car, which are also used as a parking brake.

Internally, the latest units do not include service lifts for catering trolleys, allowing for wider entrances to the saloons. The first class seats have leather covers, 220 V laptop sockets and reading lamps; retention toilets are also provided.

Although known as InterRegio-Materieel, the VIRMs are also used on inter-city services, including the lengthy Alkmaar – Utrecht – Maastricht/Heerlen and Amsterdam – Vlissingen routes. The units can run in multiple up to 14 cars, with two six-car sets offering 1 152 seats and room for 556 standing passengers.

  • CAPTION: The first of the 51 additional EMUs ordered by NS Reizigers was handed over at Bombardier’s Aachen plant on June 27.