[EU / Expert] News in Brief: Passenger trains – February 2022

Our short news on multiple units, loco-hauled stock, and high-speed trains and their operators is in the February 2022 edition of the “News in Brief: Passenger trains” update.

If you want to share news facts with us for the next update, you can contact us via the website.


  • The Czech Railways, České dráhy (ČD), chose the brand name “ComfortJet” for its new 230 km/h (international)  trains to be built by Siemens Mobility and Skoda Transportation. It should reflect that the sets are at a higher level than the  ‘InterJet‘-sets also being built by the Siemens-Skoda combination. The InterJet trains should enter service this year, the ComfortJets in 2024.
  • ČD needs DMUs until the ordered Pesa DMUs (call off 1 + call off 2) are delivered and future vehicle purchases are decided upon. For the time being, ČD intends to lease 23 DMUs temporarily, twenty “DMU140″ trains (140 seats, max. speed at least 120 km/h), and three “DMU70” trains (65 seats, max. speed of at least 90 km/h). The DMUs will be used in the regions  Central Bohemia and Pardubice.


  • The Greek railway regulator RAS announced on 01.02.2022 that the TrainOSE ETR 470 EMUs (former Cisalpino) are approved for high-speed services between Athens and Thessaloniki.


  • The rainbow is dead; long live the rainbow: in last month’s update, we informed you it was the end of the story for the DB’s EMU supporting equal rights for the LGBTIQ+ movement.  due to a reshuffle of ICE carriages. Well, more reshuffling results in the almost the old combination 403 026 – 403 110 – 403 204 – 403 304 – 403 804 – 403 704 – 403 604 – 403 504 known as ICE3-set 304 “München”. All cars again have rainbow stripes.
  • The Ostdeutsche Eisenbahn Gesellshaft (ODEG) had wearing issues with the wheels of their seven Desiro ML EMUs in the state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. Several trains had to be taken out of service, and on the route, Rostock – Stralsund – Binz/Sassnitz (RE 9), a RegioShuttle RS1 is being used as a replacement unit. ODEG’s maintenance company ODIG and manufacturer Siemens are looking for the cause. Replacement of the bogies could take until April 2022.


  • Two 5-car Hitachi-built Caravaggio EMUs for Trenord were transferred from Hitachi Rail’s plant in Reggio Calabria to Bologna San Donato. These units are designated in class ETR 521-S1. Unlike the ones delivered before, which were numbered as class ETR 522.



  • Stadler awarded ABB a € 70 million contract for drive technology and battery systems for high-capacity commuter trains for Renfe’s Cercanías (regional) services. ABB supplies roof-mounted compact traction converters and energy storage systems. The Lithium-ion batteries enable services on non-electrified parts of the Cercanías network.

The Netherlands

United Kingdom

  • On 10.02.2022, Chiltern Railways, an Arriva owned operator, took the first bi-mode HybridFlex train in commercial service between London and Aylesbury. These Porterbrook-owned Class 168 trains get Rolls-Royce MTU hybrid drive. Besides up to 20 percent in fuel savings, the emissions are significantly lower. The hybrid system enables electric assistance under diesel power, resulting in enhanced acceleration.
  • Early February, operator Avanti West Coast showed footage of an upgraded Pendolino.
  • Great Western Railway (GWR) signed a contract with Vivarail to trail a battery-powered D-train and battery-charging technology on the Greenford line in West London. The train will be the 3-car Class 230, which also attended the UN’s Climate Change Conference in Scotland (COP26). When the train arrives at West Ealing station, it will automatically connect to the Fast Charge equipment for a 10 minutes recharge.
  • Translink, the train operator in Northern Ireland, is testing its extended and refurbished Class 4000 commuter trains. Three walkthrough trains are already in service; another four will enter commercial service in the coming months. Each train must operate 1,000 miles fault free before entering passenger service. The 21 carriages added to the seven trains raised the total capacity with 1600 seats.


  • ÖBB is planning a new service between Czech city Brno and Vienna Airport. On Tuesday 22.02.2022, Vienna’s mayor welcomed a special train with the mayor of Brno on board. An ELL Vectron pulling a rake of former Locomore coaches was used for the occasion.


  • Due to the delays in the conversion to battery-electric technology and the need to set up charging infrastructure for the Süd-Pfalz network,  the regional public transport authorities ZSPNV Süd awarded  DB Regio a transitional contract to bridge the extra year needed for the conversion,  including a possible extension of the contract.


  • SNCF is transferring TGVs for the Spanish subsidiary Ouigo Spain. SNCF’s electric  BB22251  was seen in Lyon pulling the unit 108-016 (according to the Spanish numbering scheme).


  • On 14.02.2022, around 16:40 hours, two DB commuter trains collided head-on south of Munich on a single-track route near Ebenhausen-Schäftlarn station. One person was killed, several others were injured.

United Kingdom

  • On 30.01.2022, around 7:30 hours, a Greater Anglia FLIRT DEMU  stranded near Haddiscoe due to flood water (by storm Corrie) undercutting the tracks. The six people on the train were led to safety by staff and a rescue train.


  • On Wednesday 02.02.2022, an avalanche swept away one of the train’s coaches on the route Col de Bretaye to Villars-Sur-Ollon (VD), operated by Transports publics du Chablais (TPC). The avalanche was 100 meters wide and crossed the track before stopping on one of the slopes near Villars’s skiing area. No passengers were aboard the train, and the train driver was ok. Skiers stranded above the accident could return to the ski resorts by ski lifts.