Roll-out of separable multiple-units: the Rhaetian Railway and Stadler unveil their new «Capricorn» train

The Rhaetian Railway (RhB) and Stadler today celebrated the roll-out of the new «Capricorn» for Switzerland’s largest canton in the company of around 120 guests from business and politics. The multiple unit was presented to the public for the first time. These trains can be operated as separable multiple units, which has never been possible before in Graubünden. This will allow the half-hourly cycle on single-track routes to be completed without costly line extensions. Stadler is building a total of 36 four-car trains for the RhB. It is the largest purchase of new rolling stock in the history of the RhB.

Dr. Renato Fasciati, Director of RhB, and Dr. Thomas Ahlburg, Group CEO of Stadler, together presented the «Capricorn» to the public for the first time today. Around 120 guests from business and politics watched the spectacular entrance of the new multiple unit live in Altenrhein. The two CEOs ceremonially cut the red ribbon on descending from the new train. The roll-out is one of the most important milestones in the creation of a rail vehicle featuring highly-complex technology. It is usual in the industry to duly celebrate reaching this stage in the process.


The RhB placed an order worth 361 million Swiss francs with Stadler for the electric low-floor multiple units at the end of June 2016. For the RhB it is the largest procurement of rolling stock in its history. The 36 «Capricorns» will make a major contribution to the modernisation of the existing RhB fleet and will enable the rail operator from the Grisons to make a significant leap forward in terms of productivity. The RhB plans to deploy the first new four-car trains on the Landquart–Davos–Filisur line from late autumn 2019. It is expected that 2021 will see the launch of the separable multiple units on the Landquart–Klosters–Davos/St. Moritz route. The trains will also be used in the Surselva and Unterschnitt areas. To reflect the future area of operation of the new trains, the event was held very much in a Grisons atmosphere. The guests enjoyed tasty Grisons specialities as comedian Claudio Zuccolini led them through the programme.


Renato Fasciati: «A milestone in two respects»

«The new «Capricorn» is a historic milestone in two respects. Firstly, we can offer our passengers more comfort. The successive commissioning of the new trains will give us modern rolling stock accessible to handicapped passengers on our entire main network. Secondly, with an order value of 361 million Swiss francs, this is the largest procurement project in our history. The new trains represent a significant leap forward in terms of rail traffic productivity in Graubünden. We are delighted to be able to successfully implement this project with our long-standing partner, Stadler, by our side», said Dr. Renato Fasciati.


Thomas Ahlburg: «A pleasure to build a train for Swiss rails»

«We are very proud to present the new train for Graubünden today together with the RhB. The entire Stadler team is always very pleased when we as a Swiss manufacturer have the opportunity to develop a train for Swiss rails. We have been building trains, locomotives and wagons for the RhB since 1963. The trust and mutual familiarity established over the years were instrumental in enabling us to develop and build the train so quickly. RhB passengers will appreciate their journeys in the sturdy, comfortable trains,» stressed Dr. Thomas Ahlburg at today’s festive event.


The principle of separable multiple units

The possibility to operate the new train as separable multiple units is what sets it apart. The different parts of the train can be divided into sections in transit. The two partial trains then continue to different destinations. When travelling back in the opposite direction, the two parts are coupled together again to continue their journey. This will allow the half-hourly cycle on the single-track line between Landquart and Klosters to be completed without costly line extensions. The «Capricorns» are equipped with automatic coupling to ensure smooth operation of the separable multiple units.


The four-car trains have comfortable seats for 164 passengers, including 35 in first class. Power outlets are available for travellers to use in all compartments. The modern Passenger Information System keeps passengers informed about their journey. Another special feature is the transmission of the view from the front camera to the driver’s cab. The fact that windows can be opened in all compartments of the new «Capricorn», as in most RhB trains, will further enhance the experience of travelling through Graubünden. Thanks to the large multifunctional compartments, the «Capricorns» also offer sufficient space for bicycles, skis and other sports equipment, as well as pushchairs and luggage.


The trains run at a maximum operating speed of 120 kilometres per hour and are also designed for people with reduced mobility. Three of the four cars have a low-floor entrance. The trains include a disabled toilet, wheelchair spaces and tactile signage for the visually impaired. A fire-fighting system ensures safe travel.