NÜRNBERG transport authority VAG awarded a €185m contract to Siemens on November 16 covering the supply of automatic train control equipment for its Rubin project. This covers the construction of a fully-automated U-Bahn Line U3, and the conversion of Line U2. The deal also includes the supply of 30 ATO-equipped trainsets to work the two lines.

Under construction since 2000, U3 combines two branches, from Rathenauplatz to Maxfeld in the north of the city, and Rothenburger Strasse to Gustav-Adolf-Strasse in the southwest. Trains will share tracks with U2 services through the city centre (RG 7.00 p401).

The ATO and ATP equipment will be developed by Siemens’ signalling department at Braunschweig, using inductive loops to transfer data between track and train. Siemens will supply a Sicas solid-state interlocking to control U3, with interfaces to the existing relay interlocking used on U2. The programme provides for mixed working of conventional and automatic trains between the opening of U3 - now expected at the beginning of 2006 - and the conversion of U2 the following year.

The DT3 two-car EMUs will be based on the existing VAG fleet, but incorporating Siemens’ MoMo design principles. They will be built in Wien, with bogies from Graz. Each 36m long unit will have seats for 60 passengers and standing room for 240; maximum speed will be 80 km/h. U3 will be worked by 16 sets, with the other 14 to work U2.