NAH.SH Signs Contract with Stadler for FLIRT Akku Trains

Nahverkehrsbund Schleswig-Holstein (NAH.SH) and Stadler signed the contract for the delivery of 55 FLIRT Akku trains in Kiel, Germany, yesterday.

This formalises the announcement first made public in June, when NAH.SH selected Stadler’s bid as the winning one. This is the first time battery-powered multiple units are entering the German market via a competitive tender.

The emission-free vehicles will run on the Nord and Ost lines from the end of 2022 onwards. The current rolling stock runs on diesel. Stadler will not just supply the rolling stock, however. The contract also requires Stadler to maintain the vehicles for 30 years. The contract value is roughly 600 million euros (662 million USD).

Stadler FLIRT Akku for NAH.SH
FLIRT Akku for NAH.SH © Stadler

It took almost three years from the start to the end of the tender process. Now, transport minister (Schleswig-Holstein) Dr Bernd Buchholz and Jure Mikolčić, CEO of Stadler Germany, signed the contract for the 55 FLIRT Akku trains in Kiel on 14 October.

Stadler’s German subsidiary will manufacture the units. These trains will be more energy-saving and release fewer emissions compared to their predecessors. Interestingly, this is the first time in Schleswig-Holstein that a maintenance component is part of a purchase contract.

Dr Bernd Buchholz said:

“Especially after our experiences with the Marsh Railway and on other networks it was important to us to incorporate the manufacturer in the responsibility of everyday operations.”

Stadler says it will perform the maintenance works in Neumünster and Rendsburg.

After the signing Stadler demonstrated the new trains to the transport minister by way of a test trip in a FLIRT Akku between Kiel and Oppendorf.

FLIRT Akku Operations

These trains with a top speed of 160km/h are able to run on non-electrified lines thanks to their batteries. Existing overhead lines as well as some new overhead lines will be used to charge the batteries in addition to some further charging equipment.

The trains use regenerative braking to feed energy back into the batteries to make the trains even more efficient. Once the FLIRT Akku enters commercial service, there will be almost no diesel multiple units in operation on the Schleswig-Holstein network.

Dr Bernd Buchholz said:

“The new multiple units are emission-free. We're contributing to the necessary electrification of the rail network here without having to invest in the expensive overhead lines. I'm particularly pleased that this solution is so cost-effective. Calculated over the entire investment period, these trains are somewhat cheaper than diesel multiple units.”

Under ideal conditions, the FLIRT Akku can travel 150km between charges.

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