Siemens Mobility and public transport operator Wiener Linien have unveiled Vienna metro’s first painted car body at the former’s plant in Austria.

This is part of a contract received by Siemens in September 2017, under which it is required to supply 34 driverless six-car trainsets to Wiener Linien and maintain them for 24 years. The contract also comes with an option to supply 11 more trains.

Named as X cars, the trains can be operated automatically or with a driver. Siemens expects to deliver the first pre-series train in the middle of next year.

As part of the contract, the trains will be operated in driverless mode on the new Line U5 in Vienna, and with drivers on Wiener Linien’s Lines U1 to U4.

Each 111m train is expected to accommodate up to 928 passengers and will feature 18 passenger doors with retractable gap bridges on each side.

The company has also incorporated special lightweight construction elements into the car body and bogie design in an effort to reduce the weight of the vehicle.

The trains will also feature LED interior and exterior lighting, as well as electrodynamic braking to reduce mechanical wear on the brakes.

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Wiener Linien managing director Günter Steinbauer said: “Our metro system will continue to grow over the coming years with the U2-U5 interchange, and the total volume of passengers will increase as well.

“To handle this expanding volume, we need additional powerful trains. The X cars can be flexibly used throughout the existing network and can run on Lines U1 to U4 with passengers as soon as they receive their operating permit.”

In addition, the new fleet will be equipped with Siemens’ new FIS+ digital passenger information system.