[design] ÖBB ServiceJet: Full train in the picture [updated]

The Austrian railways ÖBB have on order 18 new firefighting and rescue trains from StadlerRail for the infrastructure department. On 20.12.2023, unit X122 001 / 99 81 9173 007-1 was seen during a test run from Sulgen to Oberaach, running through Erlen.

This article was first published on 07.02.2024 and was updated on 17.05.2024.

We thank Georg Trüb and Alain Mühlegg from Art_of_trains for their wonderful pictures! 

The power rating of this three-car “ServiceJet” is 4,000 hp (under 15kV AC overhead), 1,060 hp from diesel motors or 280 kWh from a battery; its top speed is 160 km/h. The middle car can transport up to 40’000 litres of water. Four jet fans are on the roof to protect the emergency services and Servicejet against smoke and high temperatures. A filter system cleans the air, and overpressure prevents smoke from entering the train. This so-called protective ventilation should create a safe workspace for personnel, the emergency services and the people being evacuated. Thermal imaging cameras also help to identify people in a smoky environment better.

  • Curious: each 3-car Servicejet rescue train weighs a staggering 222 tonnes!

If something happens, our new service jets enable us to get to any location in Austria. Unlike ÖBB’s older rescue trains, which are simply put special wagons coupled together, this vehicle is a train set that can be entered throughout. With the new trains, ÖBB will standardise and reduce its rescue train fleet from 21 to 18 vehicles, simplefying staff training and maintenance.

  • Curious II: the emergency phone number for fires in Austria is 122.

These vehicles are not only optimally equipped for use in the event of a fire. They have enough power to tow trains weighing up to 2,000 tonnes – even without an overhead line – and can be used as a “charger” to supply defective trains with power. The service jet is also intended for maintenance work during daily operations. Maintenance teams and materials are transported to the cross-passages in the tunnels for scheduled maintenance and inspection work. This ensures optimum handling of the vehicle by the operating personnel in addition to the standard scheduled training sessions.

Testing started in December 2023, and the homologation procedure has commenced in 2024. Their first official use will be on the Koralm line, in the 33km Koralmtunnel. Below you see a collection of 99 81 9173 007-1 / X122.001-1:

ÖBB X122 001 in Erlen on 20.12.2023 © Georg Trüb

The train is tested under overhead line as well as when using its batteries / diesel generators. A second service jet is located at Stadler’s commissioning centre in Erlen.

ÖBB X122 001 Servicejet on 02.02.2024 © Alain Mühlegg / Art_of_trains
ÖBB X122 001 Servicejet on 02.02.2024 © Alain Mühlegg / Art_of_trains
ÖBB X122 001 Servicejet on 02.02.2024 © Alain Mühlegg / Art_of_trains

Update 17.05.2024: train unveiled

On 17.05.2024 Stadler announced the first public appearance of the new trimodal rescue train. The roll-in of the special train featuring innovative drive and safety technology took place at the ÖBB training campus in St. Pölten. During the show, it was revealed that the “ServiceJet” is a tailor-made solution for ÖBB that is also approved for the German rail network.

And, of course, there is a promotional video!