Following a public competition, Stadler Rail has chosen the name for its new line of high-speed EC250 trains: SMILE. The low-floor, high-speed, multiple unit train, formerly known as the Stadler EC250, was rolled out to the general public in May in Bussnang, Altenrhein and Winterthur, which included a competition to find a name for its new high-speed train. More than 4,000 entries were received. The winning entry, “SMILE”, was cast 37 times. “SMILE” is an abbreviation with a technical signification: Schneller Mehrsystemfähiger Innovativer Leichter Expresszug (“speedy, multi-system, innovative, lightweight express train”).
The SMILE is Stadler’s first high-speed train and can reach speeds of up to 250 km/h. The SBB has PLACED an initial order of 29 of these trains, and will begin using them in December 2019 to travel through the Gotthard Base Tunnel. The trains, which will make up the SBB’s “Giruno” line, will first connect Basel and Zurich with Milan, and later Germany and Italy. They will be approved for use in Germany, Italy and Austria, as well as Switzerland.
The SMILE has been especially designed for comfort and for meeting the needs of customers, in particular families, senior citizens and people with reduced mobility. A low floor provides for extremely easy boarding, and is a first for standard, high-speed, multiple unit trains. Additional amenities include (upon request): 4G/3G mobile phone connectivity, power outlets on every passenger seat, large luggage racks, multifunctional compartments, a bicycle storage area, and gender-segregated and handicapped-accessible toilets. SMILE trains are 202 metres long and can seat more than 400 passengers. The SMILE can also be operated in double traction, and thereby double its capacity.