The first of 10 new Zentralbahn trains was rolled out today at Stadler Rail in Bussnang (canton of Thurgau). As well as being particularly light, dynamic and comfortable, this new train is also impressively quiet. The order as a whole is worth a total of around CHF 140 million, making it the largest order for rack-and-pinion rail vehicles ever issued in the world.
On 15 February 2012 in Bussnang (canton of Thurgau), Stadler Rail and Zentralbahn presented a further milestone in the young railway company’s development: the rollout of the first new three-carriage train. The vehicle makes a very dynamic, elegant and sporty impression, and this fast, innovative low-floored model goes by the name of FINK. The interior is an innovation in its own right, with panorama windows providing a spectacular view, comfortable seats promising a pleasant journey and the low-floored entrances facilitating platform-level access. “We are delighted finally to be able to present this new train to the public, and look forward to handing it over to our passengers soon,” comments Renato Fasciati, Director of Zentralbahn. And not only the passengers are in for a treat: “It’s fascinating how quiet these new trains will be – this is certainly a huge bonus for local residents,” continues Fasciati.
Also a milestone for Stadler Rail
This train is a milestone not only for Zentralbahn, but also for Stadler Rail. Peter Spuhler, CEO and owner of Stadler Rail Group, enthuses: “I’m proud of this modern train, which has given us the chance yet again to put our expertise as the world’s leading manufacturer of rack-and-pinion trains to the test. We are setting new standards with this Zentralbahn fleet.” The rack-and-pinion railway business forms part of the tailor-made vehicles segment that is among the core competencies of Stadler Rail. This business contributed to the initial success of the company, and continues to be of great significance today. As Spuhler emphasises: “We aim to remain world market leaders in rack-and-pinion railways, and our new concept for the Zentralbahn vehicles will help us to achieve this goal.” The new trains are distinctive in their separation of rack-and-pinion and non-rack-and-pinion drive, lightweight aluminium frame with panorama windows and height-adjustable pinion.
A clever train
The new train and the rest of the order combine to make a very clever package – the highly flexible usage of the new vehicle, meeting the commuting and leisure needs of passengers, the conscious use of low-floor areas, the infotainment and reservation system, the bistro in the seven-carriage trains, panorama windows, luggage storage areas, low noise emissions, height-adjustable pinion, etc. are the result of well-conceived and intelligent project planning and implementation, both by Zentralbahn and by Stadler Rail.
Just the beginning of a new era on the railways
This first train marks the beginning of the delivery of 10 new vehicles, six of which are three-carriage trains that will be used both to provide reinforcement between Lucerne and Interlaken East and to travel suburban routes. The actual new flagships for Zentralbahn are four new seven-carriage trains that will travel as InterRegio trains from Lucerne to Interlaken East, and as such will replace the entire existing Brünig fleet by the end of 2013.
Out on the Zentralbahn rail network from Friday
The new train will be transported by rail to Interlaken overnight on Thursday, 16 February 2012, before the testing and training phase begins. The vehicle is scheduled for commissioning around the beginning of June 2012, when it will be made available to Zentralbahn customers.
New trains will now be added to the Zentralbahn network at a rate of one train every two months, with the next highlight due to be the delivery of a long seven-carriage train in June 2012. This new addition will be duly welcomed and celebrated with an event planned for 22 September 2012.