AUSTRIA: National operator ÖBB has picked Siemens Mobility as the supplier of a fleet of inter-city rolling stock. Bids closed on June 29, and ÖBB said on July 20 that it had concluded its evaluation of the tenders, allowing the preferred bidder to be named. The deal is subject to a 10-day standstill period. Covering design and construction of eight trainsets for daytime services and 13 sets of overnight stock, the order is understood to represent the first drawdown worth €375m for what is expected to be a framework contract.

The nine-car day trains are needed to replace EuroCity stock that ÖBB currently operates on services to and from Italy where updated fire regulations will prohibit their deployment from 2021. The overnight stock is destined to replace or augment the fleet that ÖBB currently uses on its Nightjet services. ÖBB’s existing overnight fleet includes 42 sleeping cars and 15 couchette cars operated by Deutsche Bahn until it withdrew City Night Line services in 2016.

Tendering for the new trains was interrupted last year after a ruling by Austria’s Bundesverwaltungsgericht federal administrative court. This followed reports of a complaint by Siemens that changes had been made to the specification at a late stage in the process.

Siemens is believed to have offered a derivative of the Viaggio design used in ÖBB’s Railjet trainsets with steel bodyshells, while rival bidder Bombardier reportedly proposed a vehicle with aluminium construction with some components sourced from China.