SWITZERLAND: Regionalverkehr Bern-Solothurn has awarded Stadler Rail a contract to supply 14 electric multiple-units to a custom design, which the inter-urban operator has developed by 'crowd-sourcing' ideas from passengers on route S7 from Bern to Worb where they will operate. The order is worth SFr134, including spare parts.

The 1·25 kV DC metre-gauge EMUs with a maximum speed of 100 km/h will have four cars with a total length of 60 m, with 104 seats and room for 360 standing passengers. They will be partially low-floor, with two doors per car side and large standing areas to accelerate boarding and alighting.

The first of the new EMUs are scheduled to enter service from the end of 2018, and by 2020 they will replace the current fleet of 'Mandarinli' EMUs dating from the 1970s.

'Our trains are our calling card', said RBS Director Fabian Schmid when the order was announced on May 9. 'They should be carefully tailored to the needs of our passengers, operations and infrastructure.

'With Stadler we have found a reliable partner', he added. 'We are pleased to award our largest-ever vehicle procurement to them'.

Stadler Rail owner and CEO Peter Spuhler said he was 'pleased that the opinion of the passengers was involved in the development process from the very beginning, and we now may decisively contribute to their comfort.'