Friday, 28 July 2023

Stadler Awarded Contract For Battery Trains in Austria

The Austrian Federal Railways (ÖBB) has awarded Stadler a framework agreement for up to 120 battery trains. 

The FLIRT Akku vehicles are intended to replace the existing diesel fleet and enable sustainable operation on routes that are only partially electrified. The signing of the framework agreement and the first call for 16 FLIRT batteries should take place in autumn 2023. 
With this award and the successes in the USA, Germany and Italy, Stadler confirming its leading position in alternative and resource-saving drives with batteries and hydrogen.

“In order to meet the climate targets, rail transport must also become more sustainable. Stadler has invested in green drive solutions to replace diesel fleets and has established its position as a leading provider of sustainable rail transport in recent years - both in Europe and the USA. 
We are pleased to now also be driving the decarbonization of rail transport in Austria together with ÖBB," says Peter Spuhler, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Stadler.

Stadler has more than 80 years of experience in building battery-powered rail vehicles. Today's state-of-the-art battery-powered vehicles run both with and without overhead lines and charge while driving or braking. 

 The FLIRT battery is the battery-powered version of Stadler's FLIRT series. The operational range of the vehicle is around 100 kilometers. This means that almost all non-electrified routes in Austria can be used with the regional train in battery operation. With 224 kilometers driven in battery-only mode, the FLIRT Akku holds the world record for the longest journey by a regional train in battery-only mode without additional charging. 

In addition to the new trains for ÖBB, Stadler is also supplying 55 FLIRT battery packs for the Schleswig-Holstein local transport association, 44 trains for the Palatinate network and 14 trains for the H network of Deutsche Bahn. Those for Schleswig-Holstein are currently going through the approval tests and will start passenger service this year.

Sustainable with hydrogen

In addition to battery trains, Stadler is also driving the development of hydrogen-powered rail vehicles. These enable low-emission rail operations, especially on routes that do not have any overhead lines. 
For SBCTA in California, Stadler designed and built the first hydrogen-powered multiple unit for the USA. After a successful test phase this spring, the start of operation is planned for 2024. Stadler is also supplying the world's first hydrogen-powered narrow-gauge vehicles for the Italian regions of Calabria and Sardinia.

The new vehicles are FLIRT Akku – the battery-powered version of Stadler’s bestseller FLIRT, 2,550 of which have already been sold worldwide.  

UK Success

Stadler have had great success in the UK, supplying Greater Anglia with Class 755's for regional and local services

The Liverpool City Region has ordered 53 Class 777 Metro trains from Stadler, seven of which are Independent Powered Electrical Multiple Units (IPEMU)

Transport for Wales (TfW) has ordered 35 FLIRT and of these 24 have a trimodal drive and can be operated fully electrically under overhead line electrification (OLE), electrically by battery or in hybrid mode with a diesel drive. The diesel drive is only intended for exceptional use; regular operation should be entirely electric.

Stadler are also supplying a fleet of Tram Trains to TfW.
The light rail vehicles will be able to run on both rail and tram lines and will operate on overhead electric lines and battery power. At 40 metres long the CITYLINK tram-trains can carry more than 250 passengers and on rail run at 100km per hour.

Nexus who run the Tyne and Wear Metro are about to introduce the first Stadler Class 777's on their system.