Germany-based rail vehicle manufacturer Stadler Pankow has won a contract from Berlin transport authority BVG to produce two underground trains as part of a pilot project to modernise the city's U-Bahn metro fleet.
The two IK-type metro trains are scheduled to be delivered by 2015 and will run along the line on a trial basis.
If the trial is successful, the contract will have an option for series production of up to 34 more trains, which would be delivered from 2017.
BVG underground director Hans-Christian Kaiser said that the use of four-carriage walk-through trains will introduce a new Berlin underground typology to be used as IK-type trains for small-profile vehicles.
"The aim is that they will replace the A3L71 series underground trains, which have been in service for more than 45 years, and modernise our vehicle fleet," Kaiser said.
Stadler will carry out the design, production, assembly, paintwork and commissioning of the trains at its Pankow, Reinickendorf and Hohenschonhausen manufacturing plants in Berlin.
The company said that the new underground trains are slightly curved in the middle towards the outside, which provides more space in the passenger compartment without exceeding tunnel restrictions.
Each train will be capable of accommodating 330 passengers, including 80 seats in longitudinal seating and 250 standing spaces.
The trains will be successors to the HK type, having enlarged multi-purpose areas intended to improve transport conditions for disabled passengers, as well as bulky luggage and pushchairs.
Consultation is underway on the interior design of the trains, which will have energy-saving lighting and signalling systems, as well as thin-film transistor (TFT) monitors in the passenger compartment.