VIENNA public transport operator Wiener Linien began operation with the first third-generation X-Wagen metro trains manufactured by Siemens Mobility on line U3 on June 16.

The train’s inaugural run was accompanied by Vienna city councillor, Mr Peter Hanke, and numerous project participants from Wiener Linien and Siemens Mobility.

Wiener Linien awarded Siemens a contract in September 2017 to supply 34 six-car trains and maintain them for 24 years. The agreement includes an option for 11 additional trains. Siemens and Wiener Linien unveiled the new train at the outside track area at InnoTrans 2022.

The new train will operate on the U3 between Monday and Friday, with more trains due to be introduced over the summer. Siemens is expected to deliver 10 trains by the end of the year and will then deliver another three per year.

Due to open in 2026, the U5 line between Karlsplatz and Frankhplatz will operate with the X-Wagen trains in fully automatic mode, becoming Vienna’s first fully automated metro line. To prepare for this change, the stations from Karlsplatz to City Hall will be equipped with platform screen doors and the U5 Frankhplatz station will be rebuilt.

The trains feature a digital “passenger information plus” system tailored to meet the specific requirements of Vienna’s public transport system. Continually updated information is displayed to passengers on screens above all doors inside the X-Wagen metro. Screens above doors that open at the next station show the direction of the station’s exits, other lines for transfers, and the departure times for those lines.

Screens above doors that remain closed at the station display a digital network map with the train’s current location, the direction of travel, the next stop, and important transfer options. Additional information, such as planned operating restrictions in the metro system or out-of-service station elevators, can also be displayed on both sides of the door.

The trains are also the first to use a new airless braking system, whereby the brakes are controlled by an electronic signal sent from the brake control unit to the intelligent actuator, the brake calliper. Siemens says the actuator ensures excellent braking performance, especially in poor operating conditions. Eliminating the usual compressed air components under the carriage reduces the weight and installation space, and the new system cuts the time until a vehicle is ready for operation from 12 minutes to four.

The new X-Wagen metro has an open-plan interior with spacious entry areas that speed up boarding and exiting. Each train has capacity for 928 passengers, 46 more than in the V-metro train it is replacing. There is additional space for passengers with buggies or luggage. The seats are made of high-quality plywood and are arranged in a combination of standard transverse rows with additional seating along the sides as well as folding seats. Blue seats indicate priority seating and are designated for passengers with reduced mobility.

The start of passenger operation also marks the start of the maintenance contract between Wiener Linien and Siemens Mobility. Wiener Linien staff will use digital servicing based on Railigent X to enable predictive maintenance in cooperation with Siemens Mobility.

“Innovations like the new passenger information system with real-time updates and the air-free brake system are making their world debut, and the fully automated operation coming later on the U5 line will provide great benefits,” says Siemens Mobility CEO rolling stock, Mr Albrecht Neumann.

For detailed data on fleet orders from around the world, subscribe to IRJ Pro.