After its successful participation in a pan-European tender, Berlin-based rail vehicle manufacturer Stadler Pankow GmbH is producing two pre-production underground vehicles for Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe (BVG) by 2015.
If the trial run is successful, there is also an option for series production of up to 34 more vehicles, which could then be delivered to BVG from 2017 onwards.
“Stadler Pankow GmbH impressed us with an innovative concept and its references in the rail vehicle industry,” explains Hans-Christian Kaiser, Underground Director at Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe. “The use of four-carriage walk-through trains will introduce a new Berlin underground typology and be used as IK-type trains for small-profile vehicles. The aim is that they will replace the A3L71 series underground trains, which have been in service for more than 45 years, and modernise our vehicle fleet.”
“We are pleased to be able to evidence our decades of experience and our technical know-how in the underground sector. At the same time, this contract marks an entry into the rail vehicle market in the capital,” reports Michael Daum, Director of Stadler Pankow GmbH. “All services, including development, design and production of the vehicles, as well as assembly, paintwork and commissioning, are carried out at the company’s own production sites in Pankow, Reinickendorf and Hohenschönhausen.
What sets these new underground rail vehicles apart is their “ballooning”. This means that the underground carriages are slightly curved in the middle towards the outside, providing more space in the passenger compartment without exceeding important tunnel restrictions. The trains have an overall passenger capacity of around 330, including around 80 seats in longitudinal seating and 250 standing spaces. As successors of the HK type, they have enlarged multi-purpose areas, which will improve transport conditions for persons of restricted mobility, bulky luggage and pushchairs in the future. The specific design of the interior is currently at the consultation stage. Furthermore, the trains have energy-saving lighting and signalling systems as well as TFT monitors in the passenger compartment.