Rolling stock manufacturer Stadler has received a contract from Appenzeller Bahnen (AB) for the manufacturing and supply of a rack-and-pinion rail vehicle for the Rheineck–Walzenhausen rail link in Switzerland.

The scope of the contract also includes the installation of the vehicle with Stadler’s communication-based train control (CBTC) solution.

The new train on the Rheineck–Walzenhausen line is claimed to be the world’s first fully automated overland adhesion/rack-and-pinion rail vehicle.

Stadler’s new vehicle will replace the train that AB is currently using on the Rheineck–Walzenhausen line, which has been in service for more than 64 years.

The firm is also deploying the highest automation level 4 (GoA4) for AB, which will support the automated and driverless operation of the train.

This new rack-and-pinion rail is expected to enter service in 2026.

Stadler signalling division head Marc Trippel said: “The implementation of automated and driverless operation on the Rheineck–Walzenhausen line is a milestone in the digitalisation of rail operations.

“The project will represent valuable pioneering work for automated rail transport on intercity routes. Railway digitalisation projects around the world will benefit as a result.

“We are proud to be leading the way in association with Appenzeller Bahnen and look forward to working together.”

Last month, Stadler won a contract from Stadtwerke Halle-Gruppe’s business unit, Hallesche Verkehrs (HAVAG), to supply 56 TINA (total integrated low-floor drive) trams.