Austrian Federal Railways (ÖBB) is ordering a further nine Railjet trains from Siemens, with delivery of the seven-car units planned for December 2016. The order is worth around 145 million euros in total. ÖBB already operate 51 Railjets across Austria, Germany, Hungary and Switzerland. The new units will run on the Vienna-Salzburg western route and be equipped to operate in Italy, being deployed on the route to Venice, for example. Final assembly of the Railjets will be completed at Siemens’ plant in Vienna, while the bogies will come from the company’s plant in Graz.
“Quality is a decisive factor for us and our customers who will benefit immensely from the modernization of our train fleet with another nine railjets. Thanks to the increased profitability in passenger services, we are able to make this investment on our own and are thus investing in even greater customer satisfaction”, explains Christian Kern, CEO of ÖBB.
“Our Railjet is the hallmark of more than 160 years of Siemens’ experience in the passenger coach industry. Our Vienna plant is home to the Siemens’ World Competence Center for the development and manufacture of passenger vehicles, so we are especially delighted that ÖBB have once again placed their trust in us and expanded their Railjet fleet to no less than 420 cars”, said Jochen Eickholt, CEO of Siemens Rail Systems.
The technical design is based on the service-proven Viaggio Comfort type intercity vehicles, and the trains meet all the requirements for international high-speed rail operation. The standard configuration for the new trains consists of four different types of vehicle: a driving trailer with business and first class seating; a bistro car; and five open-saloon type cars for economy class, one of which has a zone for families with children as well as a multi-purpose area. There is an area available to disabled passengers in the bistro car, which wheelchair users can access, via a platform lift fitted to the carriage entrance, with the aid of the train’s crew. All cars are fully air-conditioned.
The new trains are equipped with the Ecojet package, composed of LED lighting and an energy-optimized air-conditioning system that uses CO2 sensors to detect the number of passengers in the carriage and adjusts its output accordingly. A Siemens research project concluded that this package could save ÖBB more than five million euros of its annual energy costs for operating the current Railjet fleet.
Railjets are propelled in push-pull mode by a Taurus locomotive, and each unit is 186 meters long, or 205 meters with the locomotive included. The trains are designed to travel at speeds of up to 230 km/h.