Six transport companies from Germany and Austria awarded Stadler a EUR 4 billion contract to deliver 504 vehicles as part of the VDV Tram-Train project. The firm order covers the supply of 246 CityLink tram-trains with a total value of EUR 1.7 billion which will be manufactured in the next ten years.
The agreement includes an option for up to 258 additional vehicles as well the delivery of maintenance services for a period of 32 years.
The award of the contract marks the beginning of the partnership between Stadler and the project consortium, consisting of Verkehrsbetriebe Karlsruhe (VBK), Albtal-Verkehrs-Gesellschaft (AVG), Saarbahn Netz, Schiene Oberösterreich, the State of Salzburg and Zweckverband Regional-Stadtbahn Neckar-Alb.
The delivery schedule:
- The first four vehicles will be delivered to the Saarbahn in 2024 and from 2025 it will also receive a further 24 tram train fleet with an option for 21 additional vehicles to replace the existing rolling stock;
- From 2025, Stadler will deliver its firmly ordered 75 tram trains to AVG, which will be able to order 73 additional vehicles;
- Starting 2026, VBK will receive 73 tram-trains, with an option for further 52 vehicles;
- Also in 2026, Schiene Oberösterreich will receive a total fleet of 20 vehicles, which are initially intended to replace and strengthen the existing vehicle fleet operating the rail networks in the Upper Austria.The option for 50 additional tram trains applies to the Linz city regional railway system;
- A total of 20 vehicles with an option for a further 5 trains will go to Salzburg from 2026 and will replace older vehicles;
- In 2027, the first of a total of 30 vehicles with up to 57 more vehicles as an option will go to the Neckar-Alb region.
All vehicles will be supplied in a three-part design. The length of the vehicles, the number of doors, the boarding and coupling height as well as the configuration of the CityLink versions will vary depending on the delivery location and the customer.
All the tram-trains will have certain features in common which includes the HVAC system for the passenger compartments and driver’s cab, and spacious multi-purpose areas with two wheelchair spaces that can be flexibly configured. The tram-trains will be individually equipped to suit the place of use. For example, the vehicles for the Albtal-Verkehrs-Gesellschaft will have a toilet as well as facilities for cycle racks, while Schiene Oberösterreich has opted for luggage racks as an extra feature.
The CityLink can operate the cities tram network and can also be used as an inter-city train if configured accordingly.
Providing one type of vehicle for six operators is unusual. “On the project team, we spent hours developing a common set of specifications. We defined a standard with up to five further versions to meet the operator-specific requirements such as boarding height, coating and place of use,” said the overall project manager Thorsten Erlenkötter from Verkehrsbetriebe Karlsruhe.
Under the VDV-Tram-Train project, Verkehrsbetriebe Karlsruhe is in charge of the overall project management and, following the tendering phase, is now also coordinating the implementation of the project. “A procurement concept like the one we have implemented here is unique worldwide to date. The six operators are united by their belief in the concept of tram-trains that can link large cities with their respective regions according to the Karlsruhe model and that can bring people directly into the centre quickly without having to change trains,” Christian Höglmeier, the technical managing director of VBK said.
The six companies issued the tender in August 2020 following the announcement they made in 2019 related to the common approach for the procurement of the vehicles.