Stadler to supply ÖBB with battery-powered trains
Stadler has been selected by Austrian Federal Railways (ÖBB) for a significant contract to provide up to 120 battery-powered trains. These trains, known as FLIRT Akku vehicles, are intended to replace the current diesel fleet and enable eco-friendly operations on partially electrified rail lines. The signing of the framework agreement, along with the initial order for 16 FLIRT battery trains, is scheduled for autumn 2023.
The FLIRT Akku vehicles are an electric version of Stadler’s popular FLIRT model, with a track record of over 2,500 units sold worldwide. They will primarily serve the eastern region of Austria, replacing the existing diesel trains. These battery-powered trains offer sustainable rail travel on non-electrified sections by recharging their batteries while running under an overhead contact line.
The adoption of rail transport is a crucial aspect of combating climate change; however, Austria’s rail network is only partially electrified. Stadler’s battery-powered FLIRT Akku trains can operate with or without overhead contact lines and can recharge during operation or braking. With an operating range of approximately 100 kilometres, these trains can efficiently cover most of the non-electrified routes in Austria.
During testing, Stadler’s battery-powered vehicles covered 224 kilometres in ‘battery-only mode’ without requiring additional charging. Aside from the ÖBB contract, Stadler is also delivering 55 FLIRT Akku vehicles for Schleswig-Holstein’s local transport network, 44 trains for the Palatinate network, and 14 trains for Deutsche Bahn’s H-Netz. Additionally, Stadler is manufacturing six FLIRT Akku trains for Lithuania’s rail operator LTG Link.
Beyond battery-powered trains, Stadler is actively involved in the development of hydrogen-powered rail vehicles. They have already designed and built the first multiple units with hydrogen propulsion for SBCTA in California, USA. After successful testing, this vehicle is scheduled to commence operations in 2024. Stadler is also providing the world’s first narrow-gauge trains with hydrogen propulsion for the Italian regions of Calabria and Sardinia.