15 new KISS intercity trains for WESTbahn
Stadler is building 15 double-decker KISS trains for the Austrian company WESTbahn. The contract also includes comprehensive maintenance, which will ensure high availability of the fleet. Counting the current order, this will be the third time that Stadler has delivered trains to WESTbahn. Stadler submitted a successful bid against its Chinese competitor CRRC.
Today, WESTbahn, Stadler and Austrian Train Finance AG signed the contract for the delivery of 15 six-car double-decker multiple-unit trains. The order value of the 15 KISS trains is just under 300 million euros. The new intercity trains for the Vienna–Salzburg line will replace the existing WESTbahn fleet, which will be sold to Deutsche Bahn (DB). Austrian Train Finance AG is wholly owned by Peter Spuhler's PCS Holding. Austrian Train Finance AG will lease the trains to WESTbahn at attractive market conditions. The full service contract also covers preventive and corrective maintenance work as well as general inspections and revisions. The new energy-efficient double-decker trains and optimized maintenance solution will ensure that the private company WESTbahn has a highly available fleet.
The China Railway Rolling Stock Corporation (CRRC) also applied for the contract. Stadler succeeded in defeating the bid from CRRC thanks to its overall package comprising rail vehicles, a maintenance solution and financing.
As announced by WESTbahn on 21 July 2019, it will sell its entire current train fleet to Deutsche Bahn (DB). Since the first-generation WESTbahn trains are not yet approved for Germany and the second-generation vehicles are yet to receive an upgrade from 160 to 200 kilometres per hour, Stadler is also responsible for the conversion and approval for Germany of the 17 trains being sold to DB. The first batch of WESTbahn’s existing fleet of trains will be delivered to DB in December 2019, followed by the remaining trains once the new vehicles have been supplied, which is expected to take place in 2021 according to the delivery contract.
Peter Spuhler, Chairman of the Board of Directors and anchor shareholder of Stadler, comments on the package: «I am proud that we have been able to supply WESTbahn with further state-of-the-art intercity double-decker trains. At the same time, this contract will also enable us to further expand our service business. I am also pleased that we prevailed against the Chinese thanks to our attractive customer-specific overall package.»
More details about the new trains
The 15 six-car electric double-decker KISS trains are identical in construction to the trains put into operation by WESTbahn in 2017. The trains can reach a maximum speed of 200 kilometres per hour. All 526 seats in all cars have first class comfort. A modern self-service café is available to passengers in each of the four intermediate cars. The high standard of equipment also includes pleasant air conditioning, gender-separated toilets, unobstructed access as well as a disabled toilet and a powerful wireless network. The trains are 150 metres long, 2.8 metres wide and 4.59 metres high.
Third delivery for WESTbahn
WESTbahn has already ordered trains from Stadler on two previous occasions: seven double-decker multiple-unit KISS trains have been running on the Vienna–Salzburg route since 2011. High availability rates and punctual trains quickly led to rising demand. In December 2014, WESTbahn therefore ordered ten additional KISS trains in order to introduce half-hourly services on the Vienna–Salzburg intercity route.