The first trains in an SFr1.26bn ($1.42bn) contract between Swiss rail operator SBB and rail manufacturer Stadler from 2021 will enter service in Switzerland in July.
SBB ordered 60 of the InterRegio duplex model from the company in April 2021 and will begin operating the first of the trains on its Zurich to Schaffhausen route from 17 July, subject to approval by the Swiss Federal Office of Transport.
Additionally, from December, the trains will run on the national rail company’s Bern-Zurich-Chur line and the Basel-Zurich Airport route ahead of a gradual rollout to the rest of the German and French-speaking northern parts of the country in the years to come.
The double-decker trains will be more accessible for passengers as the rail operator looks to comply with the local Disability Discrimination Act, which calls for barrier-free boarding for all passengers by the end of 2023.
SBB already operates 93 of the duplex-type trains for its regional and inter-regional services, with the 2021 order coming from the exercising of an existing option which should be completed by the end of 2026.
Each of the new self-propelled trains will be over 150 metres and consist of six units offering 466 seats, multiple bike bays and e-bike outlets.
SBB has invested heavily into Stadler trains in recent years including signing a contract with the Swiss company for up to 510 single-decker FLIRT trains last year as it looks to replace its old rolling stock with next-generation trains.
The new FLIRT trains will be fitted with data communication technology from Westermo to support onboard train control and management systems.