posted on 21st Jun 2023 12:48
On 21 June 2023, LTG Link and Stadler signed a contract for the delivery of FLIRTs. The tender for the purchase of the new trains, the largest international one in the history of Lithuanian railways, was announced at the end of 2020. The bids were evaluated on the basis of both cost-effectiveness criteria (train price, warranty, maintenance costs) and qualitative technical parameters (comfort and noise, seating capacity, completeness of battery technology, train reliability, delivery time, etc.).
For Stadler, this is the first order from Lithuania; in the first step, the national operator ordered 15 FLIRTs, namely nine five-car EMUs for intercity operation on the Vilnius - Klaipėda route and six three-car BEMUs for non-electrified lines Kaunas - Šiauliai (158 km long, of which 132 km will be electrified and 26 km not electrified) and Vilnius - Varėna - Marcinkonys (99 km long, of which 24 km is electrified and 75 km not electrified, here it is planned to install battery charging station in Varėna).
Testing of the EMUs in Lithuania is scheduled to start in 2025 and the first new trains are due to enter service in mid-2026. It is expected that the tests of the first BEMUs will begin in 2025, and the trains are scheduled to start passenger service in the middle of 2026. All currently ordered FLIRTs should be in regular service in Lithuania early 2027. The 226.5 million EUR contract also includes technical support for maintenance and spare parts supply until 2037.
In addition, LTG Link awarded options for up to 13 intercity EMUs, 15 BEMUs with a range of 100 km and 11 BEMUs with a range of 70 km. Production will take place at the Siedlce site. In the near future, design work will begin on trains specially adapted for Lithuania. For the first time in Europe, FLIRT BEMUs will be built for broad-gauge railways and also suitable for harsh climatic conditions.
The five-car FLIRT EMUs will be 93 m long and can accommodate up to 200 passengers, 16 of them in first class. The trains will also offer space for 14 to 30 bicycles depending on the season and operational needs. There will also be a spacious luggage compartment and toilet facilities. The trains will meet the high demands of all types of passengers, both families with children and business travellers, who will have a special compartment for comfortable working conditions and business meetings. These units will include a bistro.
The main data of the EMUs are: axle arrangement Bo' 2' 2’ 2' 2' Bo', supply voltage 25 kV 50 Hz, maximum speed 160 km/h, maximum axle-load 20 t, length 92.96 m, width 3.48 m, height 4.6 m above rail top.
These FLIRTs, which wil be 65.16 m long, will have three passenger cars and a PowerPack with traction batteries. Each unit will offer space for up to 128 passengers and 6 to 30 bicycles - depending on the time of year and route-related requirements. The vehicles will be equipped with a toilet and a vending machine for refreshments. FLIRT BEMUs will replace diesel trains and will be designed for the most demanding routes on Lithuania's infrastructure without catenary.
Axle arrangement is Bo' 2' 2' 2' Bo', supply voltage 25 kV 50 Hz, maximum speed is 160 km/h in electric mode and 120 km/h in battery mode, and the axle-load will not exceed 20 tonnes. The BEMUs will have a width of 3.48 m and a height of 4.6 m.
Both types of vehicles will be adapted to the needs of people with reduced mobility - they will be without steps in the interior and equipped with lifting platforms for wheelchair boarding, as well as toilets according to TSI PRM. The FLIRTs will be equipped with a class B local ATP and prepared for the ETCS OBU installation at a later stage.
Marius Skuodis, Minister of Transport and Communications, said: "This important contract will not only renew the LTG Link fleet, but will also bring new quality. As the electrification of the Vilnius - Klaipėda main line progresses, we are acquiring modern EMUs that will provide a new culture of travel. We are taking another step towards a clean transport future. At the same time, this contract marks a new era in the railway sector, as the company turns decisively to the West and definitively abandons any connections, train parts or services from its eastern neighbours."
Stadler is also committed to advising LTG Link on refurbishment of Naujoji (= new) Vilnia depo in Vilnius and providing specific equipment for maintenance or repair of the FLIRTs. This is another success for Stadler in the Baltics after ten years, as it already delivered 38 FLIRTs to Estonian Elron in 2012 and 2014.
LTG Link is part of the Lietuvos Geležinkeliai group, which has been operating as an independent company since September 2019. The company's main activity is passenger train transport in Lithuania and abroad.