AVA and BLT launched a joint tender in November 2017 with the aim of achieving synergies in procurement and maintenance of two small fleets.
The seven-section bidirectional Tramlink LRVs will be 44.3m long and 2.4m wide with seven passenger doors on each side. Each vehicle will accommodate 260 passengers, 88 of them seated including 16 on folding seats. The 80km/h vehicles will weight 55.2 tonnes.
Stadler will deliver 10 vehicles to BLT for use on the Waldenburgerbahn (Line 19) from Liestal to Waldenburg, which will be upgraded and converted from 750mm-gauge to metre-gauge by 2022. The BLT order is worth SFr 60m ($US 60m) and the operator says it has saved SFr 3.3m through the joint procurement.
Deliveries will take place between April 2019 and the end of 2021, with the fleet entering commercial service in December 2022.
With the modernisation of signalling and rolling stock, BLT plans to introduce Automatic Train Operation (ATO) on the Waldenburgerbahn. A feasibility study into automation of the line was carried out by Prose and BLT aims to begin operating at Grade of Automation 2 (GoA 2) from 2022 onwards, migrating to GoA 3 from 2027 and GoA 4 (driverless operation) from 2032.
AVA will receive eight vehicles for the 13.4km Limmatalbahn between Zürich-Altstetten and Killwangen-Spreitenbach, which is due to open in December 2022. The order is worth SFr 43m and AVA says it has saved SFr 4.2m through the joint procurement.
AVA says the specification for the vehicles is still being finalised and the contract will be signed in autumn 2019 following the completion of a public consultation.