SWITZERLAND: Ticino rail and bus operator Ferrovie Autolinee Regionali Ticinesi has awarded Stadler a contract to supply eight custom-made electric multiple-units to the Centovalli railway in time for the metre-gauge line’s 100th anniversary in 2023.
Announcing the SFr94m contract on January 7, Stadler said the replacement of older rolling stock with modern and efficient aluminium-bodied EMUs complying with current accessibility legislation would allow FART to meet the needs of local public transport users as well as tourists.
Stadler is to supply four 63 m long four-car units with 141 seats and a total capacity of 343 passengers for use on the 52 km cross-border route from Locarno to Domodossola in Italy, and four 49 m long three-car trains with 106 seats and a total capacity of 264 for Centovalli local services in Switzerland.
The 1·35 kV DC EMUs will have areas for wheelchairs, bicycles and prams, passenger wi-fi providing access to multimedia content, and ‘innovative’ passenger information system.
‘The challenge for us was to take advantage today of all the options for the development and modernisation of trains that will enter into service at the end of 2023 and continue to operate for decades to come’, said FART Chairman Paolo Caroni. ‘It is a great opportunity that requires vision and foresight.’
André Kurmann, Sales Manager, Tailor Made, at Stadler, explained that the production of custom vehicles remained a core business for the company. ‘The new trains will ensure a high level of travel comfort for passengers’, he said. ‘We have paid special attention to the design, to the choice of materials and to the safety of passengers and crew members. These aspects are crucial to us as a leading train builder, and this is where our many years of experience come into play.’