Impression of Bombardier Transportation double-deck train for Swiss Federal Railways.

SWITZERLAND: On May 12 Swiss Federal Railways announced that Bombardier Transportation had been selected to supply a fleet of 59 double-deck electric multiple-units for long-distance services.

The order for a total of 436 vehicles is the largest single rolling stock contract which SBB has placed, and includes an option for a further 100 trainsets. The SFr1·86bn price was below SBB’s SFr2·1bn estimate.

The trains will come in three configurations: 50 will be 200 m long eight-cars sets with Intercity and InterRegio interiors, while nine will be 100 m four-car sets with the IR configuration. The IC units will have restaurant facilities and family areas. All seats will have power sockets, wireless internet access and electronic reservation displays. The units will be pressure-sealed for passenger comfort in long tunnels.

The new trains are intended to both replace life-expired rolling stock and increase capacity to meet growing demand. Deliveries will run from 2012 until end of 2019, with entry into service from 2013 on St Gallen - Zürich - Bern - Genève and Romanshorn - Zürich - Bern - Brig IC services and the Zürich - Luzern IR rourte. Wider deployment will follow, and approval will be sought for operation in Germany and Austria.

It is intended to equip the trains for 2° of passive tilt, subject to trials from 2012. If it proves not to be feasible, the manufacturer will compensate SBB by up to SFr100m.

SBB said Bombardier was the clear winner on the four main assessment criteria, beating rival bids from Siemens and local firm Stadler Rail, which said it was ’ very disappointed’ not to have been selected. The final contract is expected to be signed in June following a 20-day standstill period. The trains will be assembled at Villeneuve in Switzerland and Görlitz in Germany.