PAUL Blumenthal, Head of Swiss Federal Railways’ Passenger Division, has confirmed that SBB plans to place several major orders for rolling stock in the next few years. Speaking at the unveiling of a refurbished MkIV coach in Olten, Blumenthal outlined SBB’s procurement plans for passenger rolling stock.

A decision will be made shortly on whether to acquire a further 10 ICN tilting trains for domestic inter-city routes as part of the first phase of the Bahn 2000 programme; 21 of the 24 sets ordered so far should be in service by the start of the summer timetable on June 10. Discussions are under way with SBB’s TEE Alliance partners, German Railway and Austrian Federal Railways, about a joint order for multi-system tilting trains, of which SBB’s share would be 29 sets.

In the meantime SBB is evaluating bids for a fourth series of IC-2000 double-deck inter-city rolling stock that will include 40 bi-level power cars. These vehicles will pose interesting design problems (RG 2.01 p107). SBB expects to order up to 120 vehicles in total, for delivery during 2003-05.

For regional services SBB will place contracts next year for new intermediate trailers for 126 push-pull regional EMUs; the new vehicles will be designed for access by disabled people. This will be followed by an order for low-cost trains for local services, possibly to the Stadler GTW design.

To these orders should be added a further build of double-deck suburban stock for expanded Zürich S-Bahn services. Orders may well be placed for similar vehicles to operate suburban services in other cities.