Stadler Unveils Vehicle Mock-Up as Part of VDV TramTrain Project

A 22-metre-long mock-up model has been unveiled as part of the ‘VDV TramTrain project’.

The final vehicles will operate in regions across Austria and Germany including Karlsruhe, Saarbrücken, Neckar-Alb and Salzburg.

Mock-up of the VDV TramTrain
Mock-up of the VDV TramTrain

As both a train and tram, the vehicle enables direct connections from across a region into its city centres without transfers.

Representing half of the train, the new 1:1 model showcases the tram-train’s main features such as driver’s cab, seating and multifunctional areas, with everything from grab rails to displays and door openers faithfully reproduced.

This brings production a step closer in this unique joint procurement project, where a consortium of seven transport companies came together to make one large order.

Stadler was awarded the contract – the company’s largest – earlier this year after a Europe-wide call to tender and the final vehicles will be manufactured in Valencia, Spain.

Stadler’s CITYLINK tram-train is part of its modular and barrier-free light rail family that combines the typical features of classic trams with those of regional trains. It can reach speeds of up to 100 kilometres an hour and  be used in city traffic as well as in regional traffic.

As part of the project, the partners worked with Stadler to develop a standard railway identical in its essential elements. From this, variants can be created, factoring in each customer’s needs – from entry heights and colour palette through to whether certain features and facilities, such as a toilet, are required.

Ansgar Brockmeyer, Executive Vice President Sales and Marketing Deputy Group CEO of Stadler, said:

“The CITYLINK tram-train is the ideal solution for achieving the traffic turnaround even in the conurbations of medium-sized cities.

“The procurement concept of the seven partners unites this common concern across borders. At the same time, the vehicles are tailored to the respective needs. This makes environmentally-friendly mobility by rail attractive even outside the big cities.

“We’re very pleased to be part of this process with the delivery and subsequent maintenance of the TramTrains, creating a standardised vehicle for all and adapting it to the individual locations for each city.”

By sharing the design planning and maximising standardisation, the partners have been able to reduce the related costs by up to one million EUR (1.06m USD) per vehicle.

Herbert Kubasta, Managing Director of Schiene Oberösterreich, said:

“The TramTrain project required a cross-border effort by all partners. The resulting high quantities, the high degree of standardisation and the long availability bring cost advantages to all participants and access to the most modern generation of multi-system commuter railcars in Europe.

“Now, with the presentation of the first mock-up, this project is becoming tangible for the first time and we are thus one step closer to the use of the vehicles.”

As part of this order, Verkehrsbetriebe Karlsruhe (VBK) and Albtal-Verkehrs-Gesellschaft (AVG) will receive around 150 new vehicles from 2025, including low-floor trams for the city centre (VBK) and tram trains for the region (AVG).

The Saarbahn will receive the first four trains as pre-series vehicles in 2024. These will then be tested in real operation and enter the approval process.

All further trams will then be approved according to the conformity principle.

Peter Edlinger, Managing Director of Saarbahn, said:

“This accelerates the approval process enormously and our passengers will benefit much more quickly.”

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