The Matterhorn Gotthard Bahn (MGBahn) and Stadler have signed a contract for the delivery of 12 three-car multiple units for the narrow-gauge rack railway worth 148.5 million CHF (140 million euros | 159 million USD).
This order is the first of two as part of the comprehensive modernisation of MGBahn’s rolling stock. The total acquisition will amount to 27 multiple units for a total investment of 300 million CHF (283 million euros | 321 million USD).
“We're very pleased about this contract and the next phase of this long-standing successful collaboration. As the global leading manufacturer of rack railways we're proud to be allowed to manufacture the rolling stock for the challenging Matterhorn Gotthard Bahn network.”
The contract signing on 10 March triggered the first phase of the ‘fleet strategy 2030’. MGBahn wants to acquire a total of 27 multiple units by 2028. The new trains will be called ‘ORION’ (Optimaler Regionalzug Im Oeffentlichen Nahverkehr – optimal regional train on the local public transport network). They have low-floor entrances throughout. Each train will also have a multi-purpose area where passengers can store luggage and sporting equipment. The new trains will also come with wifi access.
From an operational perspective the trains are very flexible. They can operate on the entire MGBahn network between Zermatt and Disentis and can handle the maximum gradient of 181‰ between Göschenen and Andermatt. Furthermore, the new multiple units will be able to run in both double and triple-traction formation. That means they can provide space for up to 990 passengers with up to 444 seats, of which 66 will be in first class.
In addition to being committed to using lightweight materials, the ORION trains will have energy-efficient traction components, as well as long energy consumption thanks to the oil-free dry-type transformers. The new multiple units will replace older locomotives and their passenger cars. The first trains are to be delivered and tested in summer 2022. Starting with the winter timetable of 2023 all 12 multiple units will then be in regular passenger service.
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