posted on 15th Jun 2022 15:48
DB and SBB are further expanding the range of international passenger services between Switzerland and Germany. Prior to the coronavirus pandemic, demand for train travel to Germany was increasing steadily. Now, it is already back at 2019 levels. More direct services via Basel to various destinations in Germany are expected to be offered from 2026.
For this expansion, SBB trains must be able to run at a speed of 250 km/h on DB’s high-speed lines. SBB currently operates its services to Germany with the Astoro (Class ETR 610) Pendolini and the Eurocity locomotive-hauled trains procured in the late 1980s.
The latter trains do not meet the speed requirements for the envisaged service concept (and it is even not possible with the locomotive-hauled rakes), and in future will continue to be used for domestic and other international services. The Astoro EMUs that are suitable for the high-speed network are already in use on other high-speed lines and are therefore not available.
That is why SBB is ordering another seven Girunos from Stadler for around 250 million CHF. They form part of the option to the SBB initial contract from 2014 for 29 units. The final Giruno was delivered on 10 May 2021. These trains already run from Basel/Zürich to Lugano/Milan and to Genoa, Bologna and Venice.
The Giruno is Stadler’s SMILE high-speed train. The eleven-car triple-voltage (3 kV DC, 15 kV 16.7 Hz, 25 kV 50 Hz) EMUs with a length of 202 m feature a low-floor entrance for the different platform heights in Switzerland, Austria and Italy (55 cm in all three countries) in relation to Germany (76 cm). The Giruno exceeds the requirements of the Law on Equal Rights for Persons with Disabilities; it has around twice as many wheelchair-accessible places and toilets as legally stipulated.