posted on 28th Jul 2023 12:52
On 17 July 2023, following approval by the BAV (Bundesamt für Verkehr, Federal Office of Transport), SBB put the first six-car KISS double-deck EMUs of the new Class RABe 512 into service. These were ordered in April 2021 from Stadler for around 1.3 billion CHF as an option from an existing 2008 contract and are intended for InterRegio, hence their naming by the operator as IR-Dosto (Doppelstockzug, a double-deck train). On 28 July the operator stated that it had four of these trains in service and was in the process of taking over an eleventh. The last unit is scheduled for delivery at the end of 2026.
The first use of the Class RABe 512 was on the Zürich - Schaffhausen route (four units). From December 2023, these KISSes will operate on the Bern - Zürich - Chur (IR35), Basel - Zürich Flughafen (IR36) and Zürich - Schaffhausen (RE) routes. In the following years, they will be gradually used on other routes as shown in the attached diagram.
Of the total, 41 new KISSes are to replace the old vehicles by the end of 2023, enabling SBB to meet the requirements of the Disability Discrimination Act (BehiG, Behindertengleichstellungsgesetz) for barrier-free boarding for people with reduced mobility on long-distance routes. The remaining 19 units will be used as RE-Dosto to fill capacity gaps on regional routes in the Zürich area and the French-speaking part of Switzerland and to expand the transport offer.
SBB ordered the KISSes in 2010 and 2015 and so far has 93 of them in its fleet as the Class RABe 51; they are used as RE-Dosto and IR-Dosto on the S-Bahn Zürich network and on various routes in German- and French-speaking Switzerland. With the Class RABe 512, the operator says it offers passengers a proven train combined with the benefits and comfort of the new trains. Over a length of 150 m, the units provide 466 seats, the interior is of long-distance standard and the first-class seating is in a 2 + 1 arrangement. Electric sockets, space for eight bicycles and with chargers for electric bikes, multifunctional compartments with space for prams, five toilets and a modern information system are available throughout the train.