AUSTRIA: Austrian Federal Railways’ first four-car Siemens Mobility Desiro ML electric multiple-units entered service in Vorarlberg with the December 11 timetable change.

ÖBB has operate three-car Desiro ML units since 2015. In August 2021 it awarded Siemens Mobility a contract to supply 21 four-car units to operate regional routes in Vorarlberg including cross-border services to Lindau in Germany and to St Margrethen in Switzerland.

An order had previously been placed for Bombardier Transportation to supply Talent 3 units, but this was cancelled because of delivery delays and ÖBB called a new tender in January 2021 with rapid delivery one of the requirements.


‘Vorarlberg is the first Land to get the new, state-of-the-art Desiro ML commuter trains in a four-car configuration’, explained ÖBB-Personenverkehr board member Sabine Stock. ‘In the next few years, ÖBB will invest a total of more than €4bn in its fleet. By this, we are creating an additional impulse to inspire more people to travel or commute by train.’

Vorarlberg Environment & Mobility Minister Daniel Zadra said ‘the new trains can carry almost 50% more passengers than the older Talent 1 units. The biggest innovation is the space for bicycles: new trains already offer space for 16 bicycles, and from March the train interiors will be gradually transformed into the summer layout, in which 39 bicycles can be transported’.

Other features of the 160 km/h EMUs include at-seat reading lamps, power sockets, tables between facing seats, and footrests and folding tables on the airline seating. There are dedicated spaces for prams and wheelchairs, two toilets including one which is fully accessible and has a baby changing table.

The units are to be maintained at a new depot in Bludenz.