updated on 19th Mar 2021 16:26 posted on 23rd Feb 2021 13:47
On 23 February 2021, ÖBB and Siemens Mobility presented the exterior design for the new generation of the Nightjet trains. At the Siemens’s Wien works also first painted bodyshells are in final assembly.
The new seven-car trains are scheduled to start regular service in late 2022 and will first be used on the Austria to Italy and Germany to Italy services. The first 13 trainsets have already been ordered by ÖBB from a framework agreement with Siemens Mobility, and a further 20 trains are expected to be called up this year.
Leonore Gewessler, Austria’s Minister for Climate Protection: “In the fight against the climate crisis, Europe needs more climate-friendly mobility. A strong and extensive night train network is an important contribution here. That’s why we’ll be investing around 500 million EUR in the future of night trains in the coming years and can purchase 20 more nightjets. This not only means additional cars for our fleet, but also more destinations and more night train lines. The Nightjet is the best option for traveling between major European cities. Austria is - and will continue to be - the trendsetter for this service in the EU.”
Andreas Matthä, CEO of ÖBB: “The decision made in 2016 to enter the European night train business and steadily expand the night train network was absolutely right. We are already the largest provider of night train service in Europe and our investment in new trains will ensure that we can continue building on our pioneering role. By providing greater comfort and privacy, our new Nightjets will clearly focus on meeting the needs of passengers.”
The new Nightjets consist of two seating cars, three couchette cars, and two sleeping cars. The new couchette car concept offers additional mini-suites for single travelers that ensure a pleasant trip and relaxed arrival. Barrier-free overnight travel will also be possible. Each of the trains will have a multifunctional car with a low-floor entrance, a barrier-free couchette compartment, and a barrier-free toilet. A new feature of the coming Nightjet generation is the free WLAN service, which was previously available only on long-distance Railjet trains.
The contract was awarded on 17 August 2018, when ÖBB and Siemens Mobility signed a framework agreement for the supply of up to 700 cars for day and night travel over the next five years, while at the same time 163 cars were firmly ordered:
- 72, of which eight nine-car Railjet rakes for daily services will be built,
- 91, of which 13 seven-car Nightjet rakes will be built.
The Nightjet rakes are now in final assembly and first sets are to start passenger service from December 2022, first on the routes from Austria and Germany to Italy. At present cars of the first rake are being built.
The Railjet rakes will be built after the Nightjets, nevertheless at present Siemens is building four pre-series cars for homologation purposes. Delivery of both fleets to ÖBB is planned by mid-2023 according to the original contract terms.
Siemens states that it is doing all best that COVID-19 does not significantly affect the manufacturing, in spite of the fact that it is quite a challenge for logistic chains and also internal measures. The company managed to raise high safety standards quite quickly and thereby was able to limit the number of infections to a very low number.
The seven-car Nightjets with a maximum speed of 230 km/h, a length without a locomotive of 185.8 m (the same like at the current Railjets) and with total of 164 beds and 96 seats, will be formed so: locomotive + sleeper WLAmz/2 + sleeper WLAmz/1 + couchette Bcmz/3 + couchette Bcmz/2 + couchette Bcmz /1 + seating low floor car Bfmpz + seating car with a driver’s cab.
There will be:
- two Class WLAmz sleepers, which will be situated at the rear end of the rake (adjacent to the locomotive), each having 10 compartments, offering 20 beds in total (nine standard compartments and one De Luxe with its own toilet and shower),
- three Class Bcmz couchette cars, which will be adjacent to the pair of above-mentioned sleepers, each having 10 compartments and offering 40 places (28 in seven minisuites and three family compartments with four places each),
- one Class Bfmpz multifunctional low-floor seating car with 26 seats and one sleeping PRM compartment for two persons on wheelchairs and their assistants. The floor height is 640 mm above rail top.
- one driving trailer, which will have 70 seats and the entrance door edge at a height of 1 250 mm above rail top, the same as at the sleeping and couchette cars (and like the Railjets).
ÖBB envisages to operate the new Viaggio Comfort Nightjet rakes mostly in multiple, the trains being divided en route, for example for Wien - Roma and München - Roma services. The trains can be hauled either by one or by two locomotives (as in the case of the Railjets) depending on operational reasons. On some services only one Nightjet rake will be used. If necessary, additional cars from the present ÖBB fleet will be coupled on the rear end of the train.