SWISS Federal Railways (SBB), together with its subsidiaries Thurbo and RegionAlps, has placed an order worth around SFr 2bn ($US 2.15bn) for 286 single-deck Flirt EMUs with Stadler.

The contract includes three further options that could take the final number of trains delivered to 510. Stadler will manufacture the Flirts in Bussnang, Switzerland.

The conclusion of the contract will take place after the completion of the 20-day appeal period.

Following a two-stage tender process launched in May 2020, the Swiss train manufacturer has been selected to build the trains ahead of Alstom and Siemens. The new trains will enter operation from December 2025 and are expected to gradually replace fleets over the following nine years.

The original tender was for 194 trains, but this was increased to 286 trains after the operators determined the definitive areas of operation for the new trains, working with the Swiss Confederation and Cantons. SBB says increasing the size of the order was the only way to replace all the trains due to be removed from traffic in the next few years. Stadler says it is the largest tender in the history of Swiss railways.

Stadler will build 155 trains for SBB to replace its Domino EMU fleet. There is an option for Stadler to build a further 174 trains for SBB. Thurbo will receive 107 trains, with an option for a further 40. These will replace articulated trains currently in operation. RegionAlps will introduce 24 trains to replace its existing Domino and Nina fleets. There is an option for a further 10 new trains.

SBB says that by taking a joint approach to procurement and purchasing a homogenous fleet, SBB, Thurbo and RegionAlps are “simplifying rail operations and making a significant contribution to ensuring public transport is competitive and attractive.”

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