Rolling stock procurement for North-South services: SBB orders 29 new trains from Stadler Rail.
SBB is buying 29 new internationally operable multiple-unit trains for its North-South services from Stadler Rail. The deciding factors were Stadler Rail’s top ratings in terms of overall value for money and customer requirements.The total order volume comes to just under CHF 1 billion. The new trains will enable SBB to offer its customers sufficient seating capacity, more comfort and reliable services following the opening of the Gotthard and Ceneri base tunnels and the expected resulting growth in demand. As contractually agreed with Stadler Rail, the trains are to be successively taken into service from end-2019 onward.
SBB is commissioning Stadler Rail to build 29 new international multiple-unit trains for north-south services. The volume of the order comes to just under CHF 1 billion. SBB launched the tender procedure for 29 new trains in April 2012, and awarded the contract today. “The decision was clear: Stadler Rail best met the tender criteria by far and is offering us a very customer-friendly train”, says SBB CEO Andreas Meyer. Stadler Rail obtained top ratings for the two most heavily weighted main criteria: its bid excelled in terms of overall value for money (40%) and innovation (25%), especially in respect of customer requirements such as design and passenger safety. With regard to the two other criteria – technology (20%) and fulfilment of contractual requirements (15%) – Stadler Rail’s offer was comparable to those of the other bidders. “We want the best train for our customers. When it came to the train’s design, customer focus was the top priority and the technology being used is tried-and-tested”, says Jeannine Pilloud, head of SBB’s Passenger Division.
Three rolling stock manufacturers – Alstom, Stadler Rail and Talgo – submitted bids for this major order. The decision was preceded by a lengthy procedure in accordance with the Swiss federal law and ordinance on public procurement. The evaluation criteria were listed in the public invitation to tender at simap.ch. According to the legal stipulations, the proportion of added value in Switzerland was not a criterion. Stadler Rail says it will have the trains built in Bussnang (Switzerland). As well as the additional 29 trains now ordered, SBB is securing contractual options on up to 92 more. The award decision will be published on simap.ch on 10 May 2014, with a 20-day appeal period beginning on the same day. The contract is expected to be signed at the beginning of June.
New trains to offer more seats and comfort.
The new multiple-units, each of which will have two power cars and be up to 400 metres long, will operate at speeds of up to 249 km/h and provide over 800 seats. That is about 40 percent more than the current 230 metre long ETR 470 trains. In accordance with the law on equality for disabled persons and to meet customer requirements, SBB has opted for low-floor boarding, thus facilitating access for elderly persons or people with luggage and prams, for example. Each train will have two wheelchair-accessible toilets and gangways providing connections between 1st and 2nd class accommodation and to the restaurant car. Other features include separate men’s and women’s toilets, spacious luggage storage areas and a passenger information system with electronic displays. Quiet, family and business zones will also be provided, along with power sockets at all seats and new signal boosters for improved mobile phone reception.
Noticeable improvement to services through the Gotthard.
The new trains will enable SBB to offer its customers sufficient seating capacity, more comfort and reliable services following the opening of the Gotthard and Ceneri base tunnels and the concomitant growth in demand. About 9,000 people a day currently travel through the Gotthard on SBB trains. By 2025 the number of travellers is set to more than double thanks to faster and more frequent services, and SBB is already expecting the number to rise to at least 15,000 daily by 2020.
According to the contractual agreement with Stadler Rail, the new trains will successively come into service as of the end of 2019. They should be authorised for use in Switzerland, Germany and Italy, and will initially run between Basel/Zurich and Milan before eventually being deployed on other - especially international - routes. On the Gotthard route, the trains will eventually replace the ICN and ETR 610 tilting trains. For the transitional period up to end-2019, SBB has ordered eight additional ETR 610 tilting trains. These ETR 610s will already start operating as of 2014, replacing the ETR 470 trains, which will be taken out of service.
Once the Stadler Rail multiple-units are commissioned, the ETR 610s will be redeployed on the Simplon line and the ICNs on sinuous routes such as that along the southern foot of the Jura. Thanks to the new trains, SBB will have sufficient modern and customer-friendly rolling stock for north-south services not only in the near term but for the long-term future as well. In total, SBB is investing about one billion francs a year in new rolling stock over the next few years.