Swiss national rail company SBB has ordered 33 new FLIRT trains from Stadler in an expansion of a major 2022 order as it strengthens its connections to France.

The latest deal sees SBB exercise an option worth SFr320m ($351m) from the 2022 call-off deal covering 510 FLIRT trains, commissioning 33 additional FLIRT Evo multiple units to be delivered by the end of 2030.

Peter Spuhler, chairman of the board of directors at Stadler, said: “The signing of this contract option represents a significant step forward for cross-border transport. 

“We are looking forward to working with SBB to offer passengers more comfort and flexibility with our modern FLIRT trains optimised to meet demand, thereby ensuring a better travel experience.” 

Once operational, the new FLIRT Evo France trains will be used for a new service between northwestern Switzerland and the Alsace region in France, launching with two cross-border S-Bahn lines operating every 30 minutes from December 2030. 

The new S2 Olten-Basel-Mulhouse and S4 Laufen-Basel-St Louis lines will also later be expanded to connect to EuroAirport in the French part of the Trinational Eurodistrict of Basel after the opening of the airport’s rail link in 2034/2035. 

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The new trains will be delivered alongside the initial 286 commissioned by SBB under the 2022 framework agreement with Stadler, Thurbo and RegionAlps, deliveries of which began in November 2023. 

The FLIRT Evo vehicles have a capacity of 146 passengers per vehicle and the France models will be fitted with two integrated traction current and railway safety systems allowing them to operate across the neighbouring rail networks.

SBB’s investment into a new France connection continues the strengthening of its international services after it ordered five Giruno high-speed trains from Stadler earlier this year to serve on routes between Switzerland and Italy.