SWITZERLAND: Swiss Federal Railways has placed a SFr250m firm order for seven more Stadler Giruno trainsets for use on cross-border services to Germany.
Announcing the order on June 15, Stadler said demand for rail travel to Germany had been increasing steadily before the pandemic, and had already recovered to 2019 levels. Looking ahead, SBB plans to offer more direct connections from Basel to various German destinations from 2026, and this will require trains able to run at 250 km/h on German high speed lines.
SBB currently operates cross-border services to Germany using its ETR610 Pendolino trainsets, branded Astoro, as well as Eurocity loco-hauled stock procured in the late 1980s which does not meet the speed requirements.
SBB placed a SFr970m contract for an initial 29 Giruno trainsets in October 2014, with options for a further 92. The first entered service on May 8 2019 and the last of the original 29 was delivered on May 10 2021. These sets are deployed on services from Basel and Zürich to Lugano, Milano, Genova, Bologna and Venezia.
The trains are branded SMILE by the manufacturer while SBB calls them Giruno, the Rhaeto-Romansch name for the common buzzard.
The 11-car sets are 202 m long with 405 seats. They are equipped to use 15 kV 16·7 Hz power supplies in Switzerland and Germany, as well as 3 kV DC and 25 kV 50 Hz in Italy. They have entrance doorways configured to suit 550 mm high platforms in Switzerland, Austria and Italy and 760 mm high platforms in Germany.
Passenger facilities include good phone reception, power outlets at all seats, large luggage racks, gender-separated toilets and a modern lighting concept with energy-saving LED lights.