The long-awaited announcement of the award of a contract for up to 504 tram-trains by the VDV tram-train consortium came on 17 January when Stadler Rail was announced as the supplier for 246 Citylink cars, with an option for up to 258 more.
This is the largest order placed for a single vehicle type this decade (and the largest in Stadler’s history). It includes 16 (and up to 32 years) of maintenance and is worth up to EUR4bn, with the initial tranche valued at EUR1.7bn (EUR6.91m per car).
The selected design is a three-section high-floor base car, fully air-conditioned, but configured for each customer – for instance those for AVG in Karlsruhe will be fitted with toilets to cater for long interurban workings, while those for Schiene Oberösterreich will have a larger luggage-carrying area. Deliveries will run over 12 years from July 2024, with main production taking place in Valencia, Spain.
Although procured under the auspices of the VDV association of public transport undertakings, VBK Karlsruhe has acted as technical lead for the project. End-user customers are Verkehrsbetriebe Karlsruhe (VBK), Albtal-Verkehrs-Gesellschaft (AVG) Karlsruhe, Saarbahn Netz Saarbrücken, Regional-Stadtbahn Neckar-Alb Tübingen, Landesanstalt Schienenfahrzeuge Baden-Württemburg, Land Salzburg (Salzburger Lokalbahn) and Schiene Oberösterreich (Upper Austria local railways).
Dr Alexander Pischon, CEO of VBK/AVG said: “We are very happy that in Stadler we were able to find a reliable and experienced manufacturer for this extraordinary project. A procurement concept like the one we have implemented here is unique in the world to date. Not only do we all benefit economically from scale, we also share our know-how… On average we have saved 20% of the cost per vehicle by ordering together.”
Peter Spuhler, CEO of Stadler, said: “We are proud to have won this international tender with our proven vehicle concept. The Citylink is a product that we have already delivered in numbers reaching 650 for operation in six countries.’