SBB long-distance double-deck train factsheet.

SBB is procuring 62 double-deck trains for long-distance traffic from Bombardier for around CHF 1.9 billion. The new trains will constitute SBB’s largest fleet. With up to 1,300 seats and measuring up to 400 metres, they will boost capacity on the busy west-east axis.

  • The Federal Office of Transport (FOT) has granted the long-distance double-deck train a temporary operating licence for the Swiss transport network, thus verifying that the train is safe to operate. SBB is planning to gradually bring the train into operation over the course of 2018.
  • The project has already been delayed by four years (see question 9 below for the reasons behind this). SBB does not comment on individual matters regarding contracts with suppliers as these issues are subject to confidentiality.
  • The multiple units of the long-distance double-deck trains can be adapted flexibly to cater to passenger numbers. This results in a 10% increase in the number of seats available at peak times with dual traction compared to the longest double-deck compositions currently available. The trains can be separated again at off-peak times. This prevents trains running empty unnecessarily and thus saves on both energy and costs.

Questions and answers.

Previous milestones.

  • Award, 12 May 2010: SBB places the largest rolling-stock order in its history with Bombardier Transportation: The order for 59 double-deck trains for long-distance traffic, including 50 200-metre trainsets and 9 100-metre trainsets. The order volume amounts to around CHF 1.9 billion. The decision was preceded by an extensive bidding process in accordance with international treaties and Swiss legislation.
  • Scale model phase (first half of 2011): Bombardier and SBB built a 1:1 wooden scale model in advance to tailor the interior as perfectly as possible to customer requirements. All the user areas of the new train were represented in it.
  • Delay, April 2012: Bombardier and SBB report a delay of two years due to problems with the construction of the car body and the complex scale model phase. On the other hand, it is attributable to a ruling of the Federal Administrative Court following a complaint by certain disability associations. They had called for an additional disabled compartment and a lift in the dining car. Although the Federal Supreme Court upheld SBB's decision after the ruling had been passed, this decision came too late for the project.
  • New delivery schedule, November 2014: Bombardier and SBB have agreed on a new delivery schedule. The trains are scheduled to go into service in 2017, about one year later than planned. The backlog is due to be made up by 2020. The new scheduling agreement is part of an overall package that addresses the outstanding issues relating to the delay that has occurred so far. Under the agreement, Bombardier will provide SBB with three additional trains and spare parts free of charge, provided that the quality of the test trains meets SBB's requirements in spring 2015.
  • Test trains, May 2015: The first two test trains met the agreed requirements. Since then there have been test runs in Velim/Czech Republic and on the SBB network.
  • Accreditation by the Federal Office of Transport, November 2017: The FOT is issuing a temporary operating permit for the Swiss network.
  • Start of deployment with customers on 26 February 2018: Between 26 February 2018 and 28 September 2018, the trains were used in a first phase on the Zurich main station to Bern and/or the Zurich main station to Chur route as an Interregio service with passengers. This deployment was provided as part of a "managed service" to a limited extent and with additional train crews and outside peak periods.
  • Start of scheduled operation, 9 December 2018: Due to the unsatisfactory performance, the trains could not be used as planned on the IC1 line between St. Gallen and Geneva Airport. Scheduled operation is limited to the IR13/37 line between Chur, St. Gallen, Zurich and Basel, because this line requires the use of high-performance vehicles so that the timetable can be adhered to.