Lower Saxony Transport Authority (LNVG) selected Alstom to deliver a fleet of 34 double-deck EMUs valued at EUR 760 million.
33 trains are expected to enter passenger services in December 2024 on the Express Cross Bremen/Lower Saxony rail routes (Expresskreuz Bremen/Niedersachsen network – EBN).
The contract has received a EUR 420 million financing from the Ministry for Economic Affairs, Labour, Transport and Digitalisation of Lower Saxony.
“This investment from the state’s funds sends a clear signal: we want to further strengthen rail traffic. We focus on modern, barrier-free mobility and climate protection. This is the largest train order for Niedersachsen rail network and in this way, we are strengthening the competition of railways ensuring high-quality transport services,” the Ministry for Economic Affairs, Bernd Althusmann, said.
The new trains will offer increased comfort as for the first time in Lower Saxony and Bremen, the double-deck multiple units will have step-free entrances and will be barrier-free.
The new EMUs will have two control cars and two intermediate cars. 18 additional intermediate cars will be ordered to extend the trains to up to six cars, depending on the number of passengers. The LNVG says that in total, a fleet of 154 vehicles (68 control cars and 86 intermediate cars) will be procured.
The overall contract to be awarded also includes the maintenance of the vehicles for 30 years and the construction of a new workshop with additional funds from LNVG. The workshop will be a state-of-the-art facility, especially with a view to environmental protection and energy efficiency. The LNVG has also made particularly strict requirements for noise protection. Noise-related work may only take place in the workshop hall. Shunting is not done with a diesel locomotive, but with an electrically powered shunting device. The facility will be constructed in Bremen area.
The new trains will have areas for people with reduced mobility, comfortable seat spacing, generous multi-purpose areas and bicycle areas that can be enlarged or reduced depending on the season and demand as well as high capacities for luggage. On the upper floor there is more usable space for the passengers, because the trains are being built according to new European regulations for the external dimensions. The so-called clearance profile DE 3 provides more head and shoulder room in the upper floor.
The double-deck EMUs will provide Wi-Fi connection and will be equipped with video surveillance system and passenger information system providing information on train travel, real-time information and connections at the metro stations. The displays on the outside of the train will show how many free seats there are in the respective car and the passengers will also be able to access this data via an app before they start their journey.
The first 33 EMUs will provide 15 to 20 percent more seats on the RE 8 and RE 9 routes from the end of 2024. More cars are expected to be deployed on the network from 2028, which will increase the number of seats on the RE 1 line between Hanover and Oldenburg.
The last train will be preserved by Alstom to test the ETCS system that will be introduced in the coming years.
Coradia Stream HC is Alstom’s offer concept for the EBN network. A train will comprise maximum 8 cars with a total length of 212 metres, providing 810 seats. From 2028, the trains can consist of up to 10 cars having a length of 263 metres and providing up to 1,050 seats. Lengthened trains allow at least 30 percent increase of seat capacity.
EUR 800 million is the total investment for the double-deck EMUs, the workshop and maintenance services.
The contract will be formally awarded on March 8 if no unsuccessful bidder takes action against the decision.
LNVG ordered from Alstom a fleet of Coradia iLint hydrogen trains that have completed a year and a half of trial operation in 2020.