[CH] Twindexx Swiss Express certified for Switzerland – service start in 2018

Bahnonline.ch reports: The Swiss Bundesamt für Verkehr (BAV) has granted Bombardier’s Twindexx Swiss Express EMUs an initial operating license until 30 November 2018 for commercial use. After software update by Bombardier and the elimination of minor defects, there are no any approval-relevant deficiencies. All required documents are available. This means that the Swiss railways (SBB) can plan the first commercial services with these new trains.

The current license is limited to one year, since not all planned functionalities of the vehicles are operational yet. Once this is the case, the trains will be checked again for an unlimited operational license.

Bombardier can now start with the delivery of the 62 ‘Twindexx Swiss Express’ double-deck EMUs on order. It is the biggest single project investment in rolling stock in the history of the SBB. It is great moment for a project that has suffered from many problems, both technical and legal, resulting in substantial delay. The order was placed in 2010, but it took long to finalise the design and to get the trains certified. For example, the first dynamic test run on the Swiss network was held in October 2015 for example, over two years ago.

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The trains will come in three versions:

  • RABDe 502 001-023 – 23 8-car sets with restaurant for Intercity services
  • RABe 502 201-230 – 30 8-car sets for Interregio services, no restaurant
  • RABe 502 401-409 – 9 ‘half’ 4-car sets for Interregio services

Originally, SBB placed an order for 59 units, but the operator agreed with Bombardier on building three extra RABDe sets as a form of penalty payment.

Update 01.12.2017: Bombardier has released an official statement about the certification:

The Twindexx Swiss Express for SBB Fernverkehr has received its operating permit for the Swiss network from the Federal Department of Transport (BAV).

In a procedure involving multiple tests, BAV awarded SBB’s new double-deck train with an operating permit for the Swiss network. In doing so, BAV confirms the Twindexx Swiss Express has, among other things, met all the required criteria regarding safety.

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The managing director of Bombardier Transportation in Switzerland, Stéphane Wettstein, is delighted that the operating permit has been awarded: “Now we can begin the process of gradually passing the trains on to SBB. We have made great progress with production and will be supplying all the trains as per the original delivery schedule by early 2020.”

Bombardier Transportation is supplying SBB with 62 trains in three different models (the IC200 with a restaurant car and family compartment, the IR100 and the IR200). The new SBB long-distance train has around 10 per cent more seats than current double-deck trains and can go through curves up to 15 per cent faster, thanks to the built-in roll compensation (Wako), without the ride comfort for the passengers being affected.

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