Stadler to deliver up to 504 tram-trains to German-Austrian project consortium

Stadler has been awarded the largest contract in the company’s history with a total volume of up to four billion euros: it has won an international tender held jointly by six transport companies from Germany and Austria for up to 504 vehicles as part of the “VDV Tram-Train” project. In addition to vehicle production, the framework agreement also includes a maintenance contract lasting up to 32 years. Part of the framework agreement is a fixed order quantity of 246 CITYLINK vehicles representing a volume of around 1.7 billion euros. There is also an option to order up to 258 more vehicles.

The award of the contract marks the beginning of a long-standing partnership between Stadler and the project consortium, consisting of Verkehrsbetriebe Karlsruhe (VBK), Albtal-Verkehrs-Gesellschaft (AVG), Saarbahn Netz, Schiene Oberösterreich, the State of Salzburg and Zweckverband Regional-Stadtbahn Neckar-Alb. Over the next ten years, Stadler will produce 246 CITYLINK vehicles for the six operators. The first four vehicles will be delivered to the Saarbahn in 2024.

“We are proud to have won this international tender with our proven vehicle concept.  The construction of a tram-train requires experience, and this particular tender also necessitates the ability to combine individual solutions with standard products. Stadler has always been at home in both areas and is a pioneer in the industry. With CITYLINK, we are looking forward to providing our six customers with a mobility solution that will connect the city and the surrounding area without passengers having to change trains, thereby developing travel in a sustainable and comfortable way,” says Peter Spuhler, Chairman of the Board of Directors and Group CEO a.i. of Stadler.

CITYLINK – the best standard for individual solutions

All vehicles will be supplied in a three-part design. The length of the vehicles, the number of doors, the boarding and coupling height as well as the configuration of the CITYLINK versions will vary depending on the delivery location and the customer. All the vehicles will have certain features in common: they will be fitted with an HVAC system for the passenger compartments and driver’s cab, and have spacious multi-purpose areas with two wheelchair spaces that can be flexibly configured. The tram-trains will be individually equipped to suit the place of use. For example, the vehicles for the Albtal-Verkehrs-Gesellschaft will have a toilet as well as facilities for cycle racks, while Schiene Oberösterreich has opted for luggage racks as an extra feature.        

The CITYLINK from Stadler is a clever design of tram that can also be used as an inter-city train if configured accordingly. Taking into account the VDV framework agreement, Stadler has now made over 650 sales in six countries.

One project – six customers

Providing one type of vehicle for six operators is unusual. “On the project team, we spent hours developing a common set of specifications. We defined a standard with up to five further versions to meet the operator-specific requirements such as boarding height, coating and place of use,” explains the overall project manager Thorsten Erlenkötter from Verkehrsbetriebe Karlsruhe.

Verkehrsbetriebe Karlsruhe is in charge of the overall project management and, following the tendering phase, is now also coordinating the implementation of the project. “We are very happy that in Stadler, we have found a reliable and experienced manufacturer for this extraordinary project. A procurement concept like the one we have implemented here is unique worldwide to date. The six operators are united by their belief in the concept of tram-trains that can link large cities with their respective regions according to the Karlsruhe model and that can bring people directly into the centre quickly without having to change trains,” says Christian Höglmeier, technical managing director of Verkehrsbetriebe Karlsruhe.