On 21 June Stadler announced it had won the contract to supply 55 FLIRT Akku trains to Nahverkehrsverbund Schleswig-Holstein GmbH (NAH.SH) pending a ten-day appeal period. This period has now passed and Stadler remains the winning bidder.
Receiving this contract, which contains an option for a further 50 vehicles, is important to Stadler because it was able to assert itself over other rolling stock manufacturers in a green technology tender, i.e. one that explicitly ruled out diesel. Furthermore, this is also the first time Stadler’s battery technology, which it first unveiled at InnoTrans 2018, forms part of a major rolling stock order.
Compared to a diesel multiple unit (DMU) the new FLIRT Akku trains are significantly quieter and energy-efficient and can accelerate more powerfully. Under ideal conditions the FLIRT Akku can travel 150km. The non-electrified sections on the networks on which NAH.SH plans to run the trains (Nord and Ost) have a maximum length of 80km. The FLIRT Akku can take on charge from overhead lines, for example at Kiel and Lübeck stations.
Additional charging points will also be set up and the existing overhead lines will be extended. This will allow the batteries to have an ideal charge during operations.
Stadler will maintain the vehicles in facilities in Rendsburg and Neumünster.
The FLIRT Akku multiple units for NAH.SH will be two-car units with 124 seats and standing spaces for a further 74 passengers. There will be two spacious, accessible multi-use areas for passengers with wheelchairs, pushchairs or bicycles. There will also be an accessible toilet on board.
The air-conditioning, wifi and power sockets throughout will ensure passengers have a comfortable journey. Video surveillance meanwhile will contribute to their safety. Finally, the modern passenger information system will keep them up-to-date about their journey.
The contract includes maintaining the multiple units for a 30-year period. In total, the contract is worth around 600 million euros (677 million USD).
Jure Mikolčić, CEO, Stadler, Germany, said:
“We are pleased that the first call for tenders for vehicles with alternative drives has been decided in our favour in an innovation partnership with NAH.SH. Since 2016, we have been in close and constructive exchange with the operator and with Land Schleswig-Holstein, to find the best possible solution for CO2 emission-free operation of the routes. It makes us very proud that with the battery-operated FLIRT we have not only managed to find an ecological and innovative solution, but have also enabled a clear economic improvement. If we consider the average life of a rail vehicle of around 30 years, battery-operated vehicles are more cost-effective than diesel-operated trains.”
Bernhard Webers, Managing Director, NAH.SH, said:
“We look forward to the new trains. Together with Stadler, we are breaking new ground in Schleswig- Holstein. Electrification without overhead contact line is an exciting project, which will also be noted with interest in other regions. The timetable is ambitious, but I am sure that Stadler will deliver the new battery- operated vehicles on track.”
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