Alstom, Siemens and Stadler were selected following a prequalification process that examined their economic performance, sustainability measures, capacities and resources, quality management and compliance with legal framework conditions.

In the tender announced in May, the operators specified that the train platform must already be in use in Europe, and cannot be a new development.

The three manufacturers now have until mid-2021 to prepare an offer, which will be assessed using detailed award criteria.

The current project plan envisage a contract award by 2022, so that the first trains can be used from the start of the 2026 timetable. The trains will primarily replace around 270 ageing single-deck S-Bahn multiple units, which will be decommissioned by the end of 2035.

SBB will have 106 trains, Thurbo 70 and Region Alps 18. The contract will include options to supply up to 316 trains, as well as maintenance and the installation of ETCS. The trains will need to be designed to operate in Germany and Austria.

SBB is keen to rationalise the number of vehicle types in its fleet, and intends to have just two types of single-deck EMU: this train and a new design to enter service in the period 2037-2048. Double-deck trains will continue to operate in the Z├╝rich area.

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