posted on 3rd Jul 2020 15:01
On 3 July 2020 representatives of Wien, Wiener Linien (WL) and Siemens Mobility unveiled the first X-Wagen cars of the new metro generation at the Siemens Simmering works. In late June, all of the cars for the first six-car train have been completed. In the next few weeks, the first unit will be coupled and commissioned at the WL works. Then numerous tests start until the X-Wagen train following awarding its authorisation can be used from 2022 in service on lines U1 to U4. With the construction of the new U5 line from Frankhplatz to Karlsplatz, the X-Wagen trains will run on Wien's first fully automated metro line from 2025. End of deliveries is scheduled for 2030.
Wiener Linien selected Siemens in late 2017 to build these 34 six-car EMUs for its metro network, the contract including 24 years of maintenance (essentially for their full working lives) and an option for 11 more trains, all 45 to be designed for eventual semi-automated operation as well as conventional operation with a driver, on the existing network.
The trains are 111,250 mm long over couplings, 2,850 mm wide, with aluminium bodyshells, and have a 2’2’ + Bo’Bo’ + Bo’Bo’ + Bo’Bo’ + Bo’Bo’ + 2’2' axle arrangement. There are 16 asynchronous traction motors, each rated at 180 kW, giving a combined power rating of 2,880 kW. Operation will be off 750 V DC third rail, and top service speed will be 80 km/h. The bogies, produced at Siemens’s Graz factory, have rubber-metal primary suspension and pneumatic secondary suspension. Electrodynamic braking to a standstill will reduce wear and tear of the mechanical braking systems.
Use of special lightweight construction techniques reduced axle-load to 10.9 t compared with that of the present generation of V-Wagen trains (11.4 t). Up to 90 % of materials used in construction are recyclable. Each car has three pairs of 1,305 mm wide sliding-plug entrance doors, whose threshold height is 1,000 mm above rail top. Retractable ledges are fitted to the door thresholds to bridge the gap between train and platform and facilitate wheelchair and pram access. LEDs provide interior illumination and exterior lights.
The interior is equipped with HVAC and each train is fully gangwayed, the ample width of the inter-car gangways enabling passengers to circulate freely. Seats, of which there will be 200, will be arranged in 2 + 1 and 2 + 2 bays. There will be spacious multi-purpose areas, with wheel-chair harness points, luggage and pram space. There will be sufficient space for up to 728 standees.
The Siemens Plus passenger information system was developed in Wien, and the X-Wagen EMUs will be the first public transport vehicles in the capital to have this high quality system installed. The information displays, positioned above each entrance door, will provide supplementary information, such as connections with other public transport services, and the envisaged position of each entrance door on the platform relative to station exits.
It is planned to use the X-Wagen trains on the new U5 line, currently under construction, starting in 2025. Here they will run in automated mode using a Siemens GoA4 ATO system, the exact type as yet not specified. Lines U1 to U4 currently have Siemens’s Type LZB 503/513 ATP and trains are driver-operated. As automation of the network expands, it will be possible to eliminate the cabs, thus increasing the capacity of each train by 24 passengers.
In addition to use on U5, the X-Wagen trains will eventually replace the ageing Type U trains „Silberpfeil“ EMUs built between 1972 and 1995 by Simmering-Graz-Pauker at Wien (Simmering) works. However, they will not be used on line U6, which has a tramway-type loading gauge, and which is operated using a fleet Type T and T1 trains.
The inauguration of line U5 will first involve taking over the stretch of U2 between Karlsplatz and Universitäts-straße, together with a new extension from the latter station to Frankhplatz. Stations on this stretch of the former U2 stations will be provided with platform screen doors, to facilitate autonomous operation. At a later stage an extension will be built from Frankhplatz to Elterleinplatz. U2 will then be extended southwards from Rathaus to Matzleinsdorfer Platz.
The X-Wagen has already passed the extensive tests in the climate wind tunnel with flying colors. With the start of the holiday in Wien, numerous new tests will start for the new train at WL. These include the commissioning of the vehicle, approval and type tests such as brake tests, ATP tests or acoustic measurements. After appropriate preparation, the interaction of the new train with the future platform screen doors of the U5 line is checked and test runs are carried out in fully automatic mode. After successful completion, the X-Wagen will be awarded the type authorisation and the new trains will probably be able to start the passenger service in 2022.
For the authorisation of the new trains is responsible MA64 (Bau-, Energie-, Eisenbahn- und Luftfahrtrecht), a Wien Town Hall department responsible for construction, energy, railway and aviation law). The X-Wagen train is a subway, thus it is considered as a tram in Austria.
„The X-Wagen train is a new chapter in the history of the Wien underground. The U2/U5 intersection is the largest climate protection project in the city. With the expansion, we are creating space for 300 million additional passengers. With this enormous expansion of the range, up to 75,000 tons of CO2 can be saved each year. The subway thus becomes an ecological lifeline. Powerful trains like the X-Wagen units will continue to drive through the city for many generations,“ says Günter Steinbauer, Wiener Linien Managing Director.
Albrecht Neumann, Head of Rolling Stock at Siemens Mobility: „What started with the „Silberpfeil“ (Silver Arrow) units 50 years ago at the Wien site, we are taking with the X-Wagen into the future today. Numerous innovations and digitisation solutions give Wien one of the most modern subways in the world. Our 1,300 employees and apprentices at the site do their best so that WL will soon receive its 1,000th metro car.”