The Flirts are intended to replace older vehicles in the SOB fleet that no longer meet the demands of a network which is experiencing a growth in traffic and train frequency, as well as the pending addition of the St Gallen commuter network which is dependent on a referendum in the autumn.
The contract with Stadler includes a clause stating that the final number of vehicles will not be confirmed until after the vote. The new vehicles are set to be delivered in December 2012 and should be in operation by December 2013.
Meanwhile, Geneva Public Transport (TPG) has also awarded a SFr 170 million contract to Stadler for 32 Tango LRVs. The first vehicles are due to be delivered in spring 2011 and will run on the new Cornavin-Onex-Bernex line from December 2011.