updated on 23rd Dec 2020 14:53 posted on 20th Dec 2020 18:43
On 18 December 2020, Siemens Mobility delivered final Desiro HC EMU for Rhein-Ruhr Express (RRX). It was the 84th train, 462 085. This numbering difference stems from the fact that under the 2015 contract, Siemens was to build 82 of these partially double deck 160 km/h EMUs for RRX. These were numbered 462 001 to 082, the pre-series members of the Class 462 fleet carrying the numbers 001 to 007, and the series trains bearing the numbers 008 to 082.
Moreover, a demonstrator train, 462 083, has been built, which can be used for presentations for potential clients or for training purposes for maintenance staff and drivers and also as a mobile testbed for testing new features or improvements during the whole life-cycle of the RRX train fleet, without taking any of the latter out of service. 462 083 was Siemens’s starring outdoor exhibit at InnoTrans 2018.
However, in the course of this multi-year project, to cope with the increasing passenger volume, the decision was made to increase the number of units to 84. Thus two more were added in the fleet, 462 084 and 085. The latter was handed over to the operator on 18 December 2020 at Siemens’s Dortmund depot (unfortunately, Siemens has no photo of the final train...). 462 083 don’t form part of the RRX batch and is still used by manufacturer for test operations, being located in Dortmund.
The RRX order, consisting of trains and a service contract, has a total worth 1.7 billion EUR and marks the largest order received by Siemens Mobility to date in the sector of regional rail passenger transport in Germany. Siemens states that the final Desiro HC was handed over right on schedule. Everything related to the RRX trains is digitally networked: trains, service center, logistics center and employees. The trains were built in Krefeld, tested in Wegberg-Wildenrath, and are maintained and serviced at the RRX depot in Dortmund.
Nordrhein-Westfalen’s Ministry of Transport initiated the project and is working closely with the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure. Five authorities are partners in implementing the RRX project: the Verkehrsverbund Rhein-Ruhr (VRR), the Nahverkehr Rheinland (NVR) and the Zweckverband Nahverkehr Westfalen-Lippe (NWL) for the state of Nordrhein-Westfalen (NRW); and the Zweckverband Schienenpersonennahverkehr Rheinland-Pfalz Nord (SPNV-Nord) and the Nordhessische VerkehrsVerbund (NVV).
Working with the NRW support, these authorities were responsible for the Europe-wide tenders for procuring and servicing the RRX trains and for the operation of the future RRX lines. They also share a central role in the project’s operational implementation.
The RRX is operated by National Express Rail GmbH and Abellio Rail NRW GmbH. DB Netz and DB Station&Service are jointly responsible for the extensive expansion and upgrading of the RXX infrastructure.
Once the project’s related infrastructure expansion has been completed, the RRX network will consist of seven lines, allowing 15-minute headways in the core stretch between Dortmund and Köln. The RRX will significantly improve the mobility of passengers and commuters in NRW and also offer cross-border services to Nordhessen, Rheinland-Pfalz and Niedersachsen. The new RRX trains are already being used on several regional lines in the network.
Eight million people living in cities and communities within range of RRX stations benefit from the new offer - representing roughly 45 % of the NRW population. Extensions of the lines, which cover a large part of the NRW network, ensure that people here will reach their destinations even faster and more punctually than in the past. In addition, the modernization of numerous stations in NRW is enhancing the comfort and convenience for passengers.