In both cases, the fleets are set to become the property of the state-owned Landesanstalt Schienenfahrzeuge Baden-Württemberg (SFBW) leasing company and leased back to the operators.

More delivery delays for Abellio

Abellio, which previously announced delivery delays for the 26 five-car and 26 three-car Talent 2 EMUs it ordered for services on the Stuttgart Netze (Neckar Valley) network, is now not expecting its Talent 2 fleet to be fully in service before mid-2020. The previous estimate from Bombardier that 18 three-car units would be available by December has proved incorrect as Abellio now expects to only have six.

The new trains are needed to operate the following services which are being introduced in three phases:

  • June 2019: routes RB 17a Stuttgart - Mühlacker - Pforzheim - Bad Wildbad/Wilferdingen-Singen; RE 17b Stuttgart - Mühlacker - Bruchsal - Heidelberg; and RB 17c Stuttgart - Mühlacker - Bruchsal
  • December 2019: routes RE 10a Stuttgart - Heilbronn - Neckarelz - Heidelberg - Mannheim; RE 10b Stuttgart - Heilbronn - Sinsheim - Heidelberg - Mannheim; and RB 18 Stuttgart - Heilbronn - Osterburken
  • June 2020: RE 10a and RE10b plus RB 18 services extended from Stuttgart to Tübingen, along with the introduction of a new IRE 6 Stuttgart - Reutlingen - Tübingen route.

Abellio has announced that services on route RE 10 Stuttgart - Heilbronn will be operated by locomotive-hauled double-deck trains provided by DB Regio for “a few months” from the start of operation on December 15. DB Regio provided trains and drivers to Abellio earlier this year when previous Bombardier delivery problems affected Abellio’s ability to run the services it was contracted to operate.

Abellio will also lease EMUs from Westfalen Bahn and Agilis to operate some services. The six Talent 2 EMUs delivered so far will be used by Abellio to operate RE10 Heilbronn - Mannheim services. Abellio will hire class 425/426 EMUs from DB Regio to operate RB 18 services until the Talent 2 fleet is available.

Talent 3s for Sweg delayed

Baden-Württemberg-owned operator Sweg celebrated completion of electrification work on the Riegel-Malterdingen - Endingen am Kaiserstuhl - Breisach Kaiserstuhlbahn line on October 28 and on December 2 officially opened its new EMU depot in Offenburg, where the fleet of 12 Talent 3 EMUs on order from Bombardier will be based. However, none of the 12 Talent 3 trains have been delivered.

Sweg currently expects to receive some of the trains by spring 2020 but the majority will not be delivered until early 2021. Mr Tobias Harms, Sweg’s technical director, said in October “we are very angry about the delayed delivery of the trains.” Bombardier offered apologies but no immediate prospect of delivery.

The new Network 9b (Freiburger Y) contract, due to begin on December 15, covers:

  • the Kaiserstuhl Line (Riegel-Malterdingen - Endingen am Kaiserstuhl - Breisach) - this will be operated using existing DMUs until spring 2021, when the Talent 3 trains are now expected to be available
  • the Münstertal Line (Bad Krozingen - Staufen - Münstertal) - currently operated using older Talent 2 EMUs which will be replaced by the first Talent 3 trains in “spring 2020,” and
  • the Freiburg - Elzach line, which will remain DMU operated, although these will be replaced by buses for much of 2020 as the line will be closed for electrification which is due for completion by December 2020.

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