Swiss train manufacturer Stadler has secured a contract from railway firm Matterhorn Gotthard Railway (MGBahn) to supply 12 three-car meter-gauge rack electric multiple-units (EMUs) to replace hauled stock on its regional services.

The first of the EMUs are expected to be delivered for testing in mid-2022 while all the EMUs are scheduled to become operational by December 2023.

The value of the contract is estimated to be Sfr148.5m ($158.5m).

As part of the railway’s 2030 fleet strategy, MGBahn intends to acquire a total of 27 multiple units for a total investment of Sfr300m ($319.32m) by 2028.

The new trains will be branded as ORION (Optimaler Regionalzug Im Oeffentlichen Nahverkehr).

MGBahn stated that the new trains would be passenger-friendly with facilities for wheelchair users, pushchairs and will feature low-floor entrances for entry and exit.

Each train will feature multifunctional compartments for storing luggage and sports equipment, as well as Wi-Fi services.

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The Orion EMUs will be able to operate on the entire MGBahn network between Zermatt and Disentis. They can also carry up to 990 passengers, which includes 66 First Class seats.

The new EMUs will make use of lightweight materials and offer energy-efficient drive components, energy optimisation in idle mode, and low energy consumption due to its oil-free dry transformers.

Stadler board of directors chairman Peter Spuhler said: “We are very happy about this order and the next stage of the long-term successful cooperation.

“As the world’s leading manufacturer of cogwheel railways, we are proud to be able to produce the rolling stock for the demanding route network of the Matterhorn Gotthard Bahn.”

MGBahn CEO Fernando Lehner said: “The new trains are barrier-free and, with the low-floor entrances, additional storage space and Wi-Fi, are geared towards the central needs of our customers.”