Siemens has unveiled the first prototype of an electric multiple-unit train for the Rhine-Ruhr Express (RRX) at its test and validation centre (PCW) in Wegberg-Wildenrath, Germany.
The company was initially commissioned to deliver 82 multiple-unit electric Desiro HC trains in March 2015, and the unveiling marks the start of the RRX programme's testing phase.
The order is valued at more than €1.7bn and also includes the provision of maintenance services for the RRX fleet for a 32-year period.
Siemens high-speed and regional trains and locomotives business CEO Sabrina Soussan said: "The start of tests at the PCW shows that we're right on schedule with the RRX project.
“We're testing here whether the trains are fit for their daily service in and between the cities in North Rhine-Westphalia.
“Each train of the entire RRX fleet will be commissioned right here, virtually on the doorstep of the public rail network."
All seven pre-series trains will be commissioned and undergo extensive testing at the PCW over the coming months.
The RRX programme is scheduled to enter service in the greater Rhine-Ruhr region at the end of 2018.
Each of the RRX trains consists of four cars. The first and last car and driving trailer will have one passenger deck, while the two middle cars will be double-deckers.
The trains feature a seating capacity of 400 and can travel at a speed of 160km/h. They also feature a driver-assistance system for look-ahead braking and acceleration.
Image: A prototype of the Rhine-Ruhr Express. Photo: courtesy of www.siemens.com/press.