posted on 20th Aug 2021 10:23
On 17 August 2021, ÖBB announced that it will order a further 21 Desiro ML trains from Siemens Mobility. These will be four-car units with a length of approximately 100 m, which will be the first such Desiro ML EMUs at ÖBB. Until now, the operator has been using three-car Class 4744 and 4746 EMUs; more than 180 of them are currently in service, forming part of an order for 200 trains.
The four-car Desiro ML was first developed for ODEG and has already been approved for operation in Germany and Austria. The new ÖBB units are to be used in the state of Voralberg, replacing 21 Class 4758 Talent 3 EMUs that Bombardier Transportation (now Alstom) has still failed to approve. The Desiro MLs planned for Vorarlberg will have 290 seats and space for two wheelchairs. Depending on the season, they will offer sufficient space for bicycles in summer and will be equipped with ski racks in winter.
Due to persistent delays in the delivery of the Talent 3 EMUs ordered years ago, ÖBB-Personenverkehr decided to look for a replacement of the urgently needed trains. In January 2021, a new tender was therefore launched, which included a shortened delivery time as a key criterion. Siemens Mobility Austria GmbH emerged as the best bidder in this new tender procedure.
The first new Desiro ML EMUs are scheduled to start service from the end of 2022, so ÖBB will be able to meet the requirements of the PSO contract with Vorarlberg. The train equipment with seats and bicycle parking spaces was designed in coordination with the customer. Until the new Desiros are in operation, modernised Cityjet Talent 1 EMUs will continue to provide the majority of services in Vorarlberg. Additional seating capacity will also be made available. At the start of school in September 2021, the capacity will be increased by another five Talent 1 EMUs.
We asked ÖBB:
1) what is the value of this contract for 20 Desiro MLs?
2) do ÖBB have an option for more Desiros from this recent contract? (to replace the additional Talent 3 in other federal states?)
3) for what reason were the Talent 3 EMUs not approved? (what problem was there?)
We are waiting for reply.
On 21 August, ÖBB answered us:
1) This question can only be answered once the order has been made.
2) An option for Tyrol is also being worked on. The details are still being prepared.
3) Please address this question to the manufacturer.
Alstom answered us: "We cannot offer any comments to contribute to your story."