AUSTRIAN Federal Railways (ÖBB) has ordered the first 70 EMUs from a framework contract for up to 540 trains, worth more than €5bn and agreed with Siemens Mobility in August 2023.

The order consists of 11 73m-long three-car EMUs for local transport, 28 106m-long four-car trains for use in various federal states, and 31 106m-long four-car sets for long-distance services in the Alps. Delivery is scheduled for late 2027 onwards.

The 160km/h Mireo trains will be equipped with ETCS, and in what Siemens says is a new development for the traditionally articulated Mireo platform, the EMUs will ride on bogies featuring inside bearings mounted under the car ends.

The SF7500 bogies were developed and will be manufactured at Siemens’ bogie competence centre in Graz and the company says they have already proven their worth in other international orders. Siemens says the use of inside bearings saves weight and space with the extra space gained used to relocate other components beneath the car body. The manufacturer adds that this improves ride quality and helps to provide more passenger capacity.

The use of aluminium car bodies and a lightweight construction technology for the bogies reduces the overall weight of the train, limiting energy consumption. Air-conditioning systems use a natural refrigerant and heat pump, further enhancing the train’s sustainability.

Onboard, Siemens says the cars will be wider than those on previous Mireo trains, while there will be space for prams and wheelchairs near the doors, racks for skis and snowboards, and areas for bicycles. The trains will also be equipped with onboard Wi-Fi.

Siemens says the new fleet will be built “within our global network of train manufacturing facilities.”

“With the additional 70 multiple-unit trains, we are consistently continuing our investment programme in a modern fleet,” says ÖBB CEO, Mr Andreas Matthä. “The new trains have a speed of 160km/h and offer increased passenger comfort, step-free boarding, the option of transporting bicycles and Wi-Fi. In addition, a special focus was placed on efficient energy consumption.”

ÖBB says it is already investing €4.7bn to modernise its rolling stock fleet. It recently confirmed a €600m order with Stadler for a mix of single and double-deck trains under an existing framework contract. It also awarded the Swiss supplier a €1.3bn framework contract for the supply of up to 120 battery trains in July 2023, calling off the first 16 trains from this order in October. ÖBB ordered an additional 27 Desiro EMUs from Siemens in March 2023, adding to the 246 already ordered, with more than 200 of the trains now in service throughout Austria.

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