January 09, 2013

Stadler sole bidder for Hungarian emu contract

Written by  Ferenc Joo
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HUNGARIAN State Railways (MÁV) announced on January 4 that Stadler is the sole bidder for the supply of 48 low-floor emus, 42 of which will be purchased by regional operator MÁV-Start and six by Györ-Sopron-Ebenfurth Railway (GySEV).

The bid is now under evaluation with results set to be announced within 60 days of the deadline for submitting the documents. If the bid is found to be valid and within the financial capabilities of the two railways, Stadler will supply the emus which will most likely be identical or very similar to the 60 Flirt vehicles already operated by MÁV and the four Flirts currently under construction for GySEV which will be handed over in early 2014.

The new 160km/h air-conditioned vehicles are intended for regional traffic and will differ from the existing units in that ETCS Level 2 on-board equipment will be installed during production. The 25kV sets will seat at least 200 passengers, have a partially low-floor design and must be fully accessible to disabled passengers.

However, the procurement remains in a degree of doubt because the European Union (EU) has not yet approved the project. The tender was announced speculatively without receiving the final go ahead from Brussels due to the requirement to use EU funds allocated for the project by the end of 2015. In the worst case scenario the paperwork may not be approved until the end of 2013 meaning that the manufacturer might have to start construction before all the funding agreements are signed in order to hand over the first vehicle on schedule in April 2014 and complete delivery by September 2015.

This factor may have dissuaded the seven other parties who purchased the tender documents for the contract from bidding because at present only Stadler and Bombardier rolling stock is approved for operation in Hungary.

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