SWITZERLAND: The first of 58 electric multiple-units ordered by BLS was unveiled at Stadler’s Erlen commissioning centre on September 9. The latest members of the Flirt multiple-unit family have been branded MIKA, meaning Moderner, Innovativer, Kompakter Allroundzug (modern, innovative, compact, all-round train).
Two orders placed in January 2018 and March 2020 cover 28 EMUs for Bern S-Bahn services, and a total of 30 for Regio Express services. The new units will enable the replacement of three types of older vehicle and support a planned expansion of services.
They are scheduled to start entering service next year, initially on the Bern – Neuchâtel – La-Chaux-de-Fonds route.
The MIKA is 105 m long, with spacious and low-floor entry areas and large windows. There are power sockets in both first and second class, and the Regio Express units will have offer refreshments.
‘Our MIKA trains will connect people and regions: soon they will transport our customers safely and comfortably to their destination on the Bern S-Bahn network and on the RegioExpress routes’, said BLS CEO Bernard Guillelmon at the unveiling. ‘I am absolutely sure that BLS has received a train that will delight our customers, and that our employees will also feel comfortable in their new workplaces.’
The EMUs will be equipped with Stadler’s Guardia ETCS onboard equipment. ‘Although we only entered the signalling market in 2016, we can already offer BLS our own, innovative and reliable train control system’, said Stadler Chairman Peter Spuhler. ‘This makes us more independent as a company, and our customers will benefit.’