GTW orders keep flowing
THE FIRST of 17 articulated GTW2/8 electric railcars being built for Swiss Federal Railways was rolled out at the Bussnang works of Stadler AG on March 1 (below). An initial batch of 11 is due to enter service this summer on SBB's Seetal line between Luzern and Lenzburg, and the remainder on routes in the eastern part of canton Aargau.
The units are only 2650mm wide, which would make the design suitable for use on the Brünig metre-gauge route; earlier GTWs ordered for Swiss branches have 3000mm wide bodies. The low-floor section is also slightly higher to suit the platform height along the Seetal line.
At the same event, Stadler President Peter Spuhler and Swiss Research Minister Pascal Couchepin inaugurated a new GTW assembly building at the Bussnang plant. The company has received orders for a total of 360 units since the concept was launched, including 80 to be delivered to the SBB-MThB joint venture Thurbo AG by 2007 (RG 2.02 p68).
- French National Railways has also ordered a pair of metre-gauge GTW2/6 units, which are due to enter service on the Ligne de Cerdagne in the Pyrenees in the summer of 2004. Able to run at 70 km/h and climb grades of 6%, the 600 kW units will each have 86 fixed and 10 folding seats.