Switzerland: SBB Orders 7 Additional Stadler Giruno Trains

The Swiss rail operator SBB has ordered seven additional Giruno trains from manufacturer Stadler.

SBB wishes to expand its international offering into Germany, most likely from 2026. To do that, its trains need to have the ability to run on Deutsche Bahn’s high-speed network, which the Giruno trains deliver. The seven units will cost around 250 million CHF (240 million euros). They are part of the option right SBB pad published when the Giruno were put out to tender.

A Stadler-built Giruno high-speed multiple unit
A Stadler-built Giruno high-speed multiple unit

Both SBB and DB are wishing to increase the number of cross-border services between the two countries and these had been growing steadily pre-Covid. Cross-border traffic is already back up to 2019 levels. SBB is aiming to offer more direct connections via Basel to a number of German destinations from 2026.

These services will require trains that can run at 250km/h. At the moment, SBB’s services into Germany use the Astoro (ETR610) and the Eurocity units procured in the late 1980s. The Eurocity trains fail the speed requirements for the envisaged service concept so they cannot be used. The Astoro trains that can run at the required speed are already in use elsewhere. The Eurocity trains will continue to run national and international connections.

SBB’s existing fleet of Giruno trains were ordered in 2014. The final unit was delivered on 10 May 2021. There are already rail connections from Basel/Zurich to Lugano/Milan and on to Genoa, Bologna and Venice.

Peter Spuhler, Chairman of the Board of Directors and Group CEO a.i. at Stadler, said:

“We are proud to be delivering seven more of our high-speed trains to SBB. The Giruno is a fine example of Stadler’s innovative strength. The train is a result of the long-standing and successful cooperation between SBB and Stadler. Less than two years after signing the contract, we were able to present the multiple unit to the public at Innotrans in 2016, and the Giruno has already been operating reliably since 2019. We would like to thank SBB for their trust, and look forward to continuing our partnership.”

The Giruno is Stadler’s SMILE high-speed train. The EMU comprises 11 cars, measuring 202m in total. In double-traction formation, the train has a seated capacity of 810. The trains have low-floor entrances for the different platform heights in Switzerland, Austria and Italy (55cm in all three countries), compared to 76cm in Germany.

SBB says this is a premiere for one of its single-decker multiple units in that the Giruno exceeds what the law demands with regards to persons with disabilities. For instance, it has twice as many wheelchair-accessible locations and toilets as legally mandated.

Additionally, the trains are designed to maximise phone reception on the go; they have power outlets at the seats; large luggage racks and a modern lighting concept using LED lights.

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