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


Our short news on multiple units, loco-hauled stock, and high-speed trains and their operators is in the May 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.

[CZ] On 11.05.2022, Railadventure’s 183 500 took the Alstom‘s Hydrogen-powered Coradia iLint to ČD‘s Praha jih depot. Alstom and ČD did a Coradia iLint Railshow with presentation runs in Czechia and Slovakia between 17.05.2022 and 25.05.2022.

[CH] On the weekend of 07.05. 2022, Stadler opened a new competence center for overhaul, modernization, and repair of rail vehicles in Frauenfeld. Stadler’s Service Division will repair and upgrade rail vehicles from customers at the new site on 6000 square meters of production space.

[CH] On Tuesday, 31.05.2022, the first car of the RABe 512 002 double-deck train for the Swiss Railways (SBB) was seen outside Stadler‘s factory in St. Margrethen.

[DE] RDC Asset contracted Slovakian ŽOS Trnava to modernize former ÖBB WLABmz sleeping cars.

{DE] Operator Metronom and Niedersachsen’s own rolling stock lease company (LNVG) have serious software problems with the newest Twindexx double-deck coaches built by Alstom with doors closings, several abrupt braking actions in a row. The main problem seems to be the connection between the locomotive and the control car. Alstom technicians are on board to help Metronom personnel overcome the issues. Previously Metronom and LNVG had software issues with Bombardier (now Alstom) Twindexx coaches.

[DE] Siemens Mobility and Mitsubishi Electric Europe signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to cooperate in SiC power module technology. This technology results in reduced power losses and better energy savings—Siemens intents to use the technology on the battery-powered Mireo Plus.

[DE] A surprise we found on DB‘s used train portal: the SRI Rail Invest’s double-decker train is for sale. A control (type R761) and three intermediate (type R755) double-decker coaches in SRI’s blue livery with red and grey ribbons. Derived from  Railcolordesign‘s livery for SRI’s locos Barbara (145 087) and Stefanie (145 088). The total rake has a capacity of 470 seats and a maximum speed of 140 km/h,

[DE]  DB Fernverkehr will be hiring two Traxx DE Multi Engine (246 001 & 246 010) locomotives from Havelländische Eisenbahn (HVLE). They will replace DB‘s own class 245 locomotives of the same type.

[IT] RFI’s Diamante 2.0 starts checking the Italian infrastructure this summer. Diamante 2.0 is an ETR 500 Frecciarossa transformed into a high-speed mobile laboratory where 16 systems with some 98 cameras and 200 sensors are monitoring over 500 different parameters. Diamante stands for Diagnostics and Technological Maintenance. The train can work at speeds of 300 km/h. The train should enable predictive maintenance of the infrastructure. It sports RFI’s yellow/blue/white livery. Hitachi was a sub-contractor to Trenitalia, which headed the necessary modifications.

[SK]  On Monday, 23.05.2022, Yosaria trains presented its Night Skyliner sleeping car in žst. Petržalka. The type WLABm 171 coach was built in the mid-nineties by Schindler in Switzerland and was used in DB’s City Night Line trains. The coach is capable of driving at speeds of 160 km / h. Yosaria intends to use the cars on their Bratislava – Humenné route.

[UK] We reported previously on the cracks found in the bodyshells and anti-roll bar fixing points of Hitachi-built class 800 trains. Although initially eight trains were affected and withdrawn in April/May last year, over 280 units in several lengths in service with British operators (GWR, Hull Trains, LNER, Lumo, Scotrail, Southeastern, and TransPennine Express) require alterations. The repair scheme will take Hitachi six years, which will end with the newest subseries (805 & 807) still being built for Avanti West Coast.

[UK] Early May, Stadler presented the first metro cars, designated JK, for the small-profile routes (1-4) in Berlin as part of a big contract awarded in 2020. This year, the first of these  2,4 meter-wide metro cars will be delivered to Berlin’s public transport company BVG.

[US] Late April 2022, a second battery-powered Vivarail D-train arrived in the USA. The unit, designated 230 011, is sporting the Pop-Up Metro livery we know from the first unit (230 002). Like the first unit,  RDC will use it to demonstrate the ‘Pop-up Metro’ concept for providing ‘lower cost, lower risk, faster start’ passenger services on under-utilized railways.

[BE/FR] Thalys is stopping the low-cost, high-speed Izy service between Brussels and Paris at 10.07.2022. Until then, only the Friday till Monday services will remain. As the Thalys brand is phased out too (by 2024), only the Eurostar brand will eventually remain in business.

[DE] On Wednesday, 10.06.2022, the German state of Baden-Wurttemberg awarded the Singen-Schaffhausen network to the only bidder: the German subsidiary of the Swiss Railways (SBB). The new public transport contract runs for five years, starting December 2022. The service will be run with Stadler GTW 2/8 EMUs which can be supplemented with GTW 2/6 EMUs.

[ES] Renfe awarded the construction of a new high-speed train maintenance workshop at the Santa Catalina Maintenance Base in Madrid. The € 12,5 million extension (Santa Catalina III) will duplicate the existing workshop (Santa Catalina II). The works consist of constructing the extension building of the current warehouse, and it will be equipped with four 200-meter tracks with low bogies, low rails, and bridge cranes equipment.

[UK] Multiple UK operators marked her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee for being 70 years on the throne. Great Western Railway (GWR) added the official Platinum Jubilee Emblem to its Queen Elizabeth II  Intercity Express Train, numbered 800 003. It got named in June 2017, marking 175 years of royal rail travel, as Queen Victoria made the first rail trip in 1842. Greater Anglia added the same emblem to its 720 558 Aventra unit.

[US] On Tuesday, 17.05.2022, Brightline reached the station at Orlando International Airport with a Siemens Charger/Venture Coach combination for the first time for testing purposes (see video). The 275 km ( 170 miles) long Orlando expansion service should start in early 2023. Brightline ordered five additional train sets, comprising a Charger locomotive and 4 Venture Coaches, and an extra Charger locomotive for the Orlando extension.

[AU] On Monday 09.05.2022, a GySEV passenger train comprising two Siemens Desiro ML EMUs to Vienna derailed near Münchendorf.  The units, known as Vectus by GySEV, partly derailed, and two cars flipped over and slid down the embankment into a ditch. A train driver and 56 passengers were on board during the accident. The Hungarian train driver was seriously injured and was taken to hospital. One passenger was killed in the accident.

[DE] On Thursday 15.05.2022, the Mitteldeutsche Regiobahn (MRB) reported severe damage to  three vehicles on the route Leipzig – Grimma – Döbeln. The windows of the vehicles were severely damaged by falling rocks and could not be used for safety reasons. MRB had to operate different rolling stock. The MRB is annoyed about the damage to two vehicles as they were caused by green cutting work commissioned by DB Netz. During work in the track area, stones and other debris were thrown up so that two railcars were severely hit. Stones were thrown to a third vehicle by individuals between Grimma and Leipzig.

[DE] On Friday, 27.05.2022, DB Regio‘s  612 108 collided with a bus at Blaustein near Ulm. Several passengers were (seriously) injured.

[DE] On Friday 03.06.2022 around 12.15 hours, DB Regio‘s regional train RB 59458 between Garmisch-Partenkkirchen and Munich,  derailed shortly after leaving Garmisch-Partenkirchen station. Three of the double-deck cars overturned and slid down the embankment. So far, five casualties have been reported, and thirty passengers were injured, of which fifteen went to the hospital. There are still people missing. The train blocksthe route between Garmisch-Partenkirchen and Oberau. Trains from Munich turn early in Oberau. The cause of the train accident is still unclear.

[DE] On Friday 03.06.2022, another rail-related accident happened near Krumpendorf, but no trains were involved. A truck crossed a level crossing and suddenly caught fire on the tracks. Most likely, the crane on the truck was extended and made contact with the overhead lines, causing the vehicle to go up in flames. The truck driver could get out of his cab and was not injured. Rail traffic was not possible for a while, and replacement services were needed.

[ES] On Monday, 16.05.2022, a passenger train of the Catalan Railways (FGC) collided with an FGC freight train on the Llobregat-Anoia line between Sant Boi and Molí Nou stations (in the Barcelona region). One of the freight cars derailed and crashed into the cab of the FGC passenger train, killing the train driver. Over 80 passengers were injured, most of them minor, resulting in nine hospitalized. The cause of the incident is still unknown.

[ES]  On Sunday 22.05.2022, the pantograph of an Ouigo high-speed train on a trip from Madrid to Barcelona got caught by the overhead line near Cetina. The pantograph got entangled by the overhead wire, and part of the contact wire was found wrapped around the train’s rear. The staff safely evacuated passengers.

[RO] On Monday, 27.05.2022, one of the two former French X72500 DMUs in service with Regio Calatori (previously known as Regiotrans) was on fire when arriving at Sinia station on the line between Bucharest and Brașov. The 30 passengers were able to evacuate the train, and the fire brigade could extinguish the fire quickly.