GERMAN Rail (DB) and Alstom have signed a contract worth around €500m for 64 class 490 S-Bahn trains for Hamburg. The order was approved by the Hamburg senate in March, when it was expected to worth around €400m, and is the final option from a framework agreement signed in 2013 with Bombardier Transportation, which has since been acquired by Alstom.

The trains will be equipped with ETCS Baseline 3 Release 2 and ATO at GoA 2, which will decrease headways and increase capacity. The order marks the first time that ATO has been installed in new S-Bahn vehicles in Germany.  The trains can also be coupled with the 82 class 490 trains currently operating on the Hamburg S-Bahn network. The trains will be delivered with Alstom's intelligent onboard technology for ETCS, with integrated ATO software that meets the high demands of future digital rail operations in terms of performance, availability, and automation.

Alstom will initially manufacture three vehicles that will undergo extensive testing and inspection, in particular for approval of their ETCS and ATO functionalities. The vehicles are scheduled to be delivered to Hamburg in 2025 and 2026.

The three-car trains’ middle car will feature a multipurpose area with room for bicycles, luggage, and dedicated spaces to accommodate passengers with limited mobility.

“The order for the additional 64 S-Bahn trains is good news for our passengers,” says S-Bahn Hamburg managing director, Mr Kay Uwe Arnecke. “We are taking the next big step in the expansion of S-Bahn services in Hamburg. The trains are ordered for future local transport projects such as the S4, the S32, and the extension of the S21. They are already equipped for automated operation straight from the factory. This underlines Hamburg's pioneering role in digital rail.”

“Equipping the trains with the latest ETCS and ATO technology is a milestone on the path to the digitalisation of Hamburg's rail traffic,” says Mr Müslüm Yakisan, President of Alstom in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

DB is developing a highly automated S-Bahn operation project, which includes ATO with train drivers onboard who maintain responsibility for safety. Part of the demonstration will include fully driverless shunting of empty trains in an area near Bergedorf station, based on the transmission of train control information over the 5G network.

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