Impression of Stadler Flirt for SBB

SWITZERLAND: Stadler has been selected as the winner of the ‘largest tender in Swiss rail history’. The framework contract covers the supply of up to 510 Flirt electric multiple-units to Swiss Federal Railways, Thurbo and RegionAlps, with a firm order for an initial 286 units worth SFr2bn.

The selection of Stadler was announced on October 5, with formal award subject to a 20-day standstill period.

Impression of Stadler Flirt standard class

Impression of Stadler Flirt standard class

The two-stage tendering process was launched in May 2020 by SBB, its Thurbo joint venture with the canton of Thurgau and the RegionAlps joint venture in Valais. The three operators said purchasing a uniform fleet would simplify operations and help to increase the competitiveness and attractiveness of public transport. They aimed to shortlist three companies with a proven vehicle concept, prequalifying Alstom, Siemens and Stadler to submit final offers at the end of April 2021.

Evaluation was based on economic efficiency, quality, and meeting the tender specifications, taking into account lifetime maintenance, cleaning, energy and spare part costs as well as the initial purchase price.

Impression of Stadler Flirt first class

Impression of Stadler Flirt first class

SBB said Stadler had been selected on the basis of quality and cost-effectiveness¸ offering detailed plans to meet project milestones as well as the lowest overall operating costs.

The firm order was initially planned to cover 194 units, but following agreements between the operators, the federal government and the cantons this has been increased to 286. That will enable the replacement of more life-expired trainsets.

Impression of Stadler Flirt for Thurbo (1)

The Flirt units will be manufactured entirely at Bussnang, with Switzerland accounting for around 75% of the total value added. They are expected to enter service from December 2025 to 2034.

Impression of Stadler Flirt for RegionAlps

Compared to the trains currently in service the Flirt EMUs are expected to offer more storage space for bicycles, prams and large luggage, improved mobile phone reception and power sockets. There will be two wheelchair spaces, including in first class, and an accessible toilet per train. The 15 kV 16·7 Hz units will be approved for operation in Switzerland, Germany and Austria.

Swiss Flirt EMU framework contract
Swiss Flirt EMU framework contract
Operator Replaces Firm order Options
SBB Domino, Flirt (first generation) and locomotive-hauled shuttle trains 155 174
Thurbo GTW 107 40
RegionAlps Domino and Nina 24 10
Total   286 224