RABe 522 of the Swiss Federal Railways
|Build date||since 2004|
|Total produced||910 trains ordered (8/2013)|
|UIC classification||Bo'2'2'2'Bo' (four-section train)|
|Gauge||1,435 mm (4 ft 8 1⁄2 in)
1,524 mm (5 ft)
|Length||42.066–106.278 m (138 ft 0.1 in–348 ft 8.2 in)|
|Locomotive weight||76–206 t (75–203 long tons; 84–227 short tons)|
|Top speed||120–200 km/h (75–124 mph) [usually 160 km/h (99 mph)]|
|Power output||1,300–4,500 kW (1,700–6,000 hp)|
Stadler FLIRT (Fast Light Innovative Regional Train) is an electric multiple unit (EMU) produced by Stadler Rail AG. The articulated trainset comes in units of two to six cars with two to six motorized axles. The maximum speed is 200 km/h (120 mph). Standard floor height is 57 cm (22.4 in), but 78 cm (30.7 in) high floors are also available for platform heights of 76 cm (29.9 in).
The FLIRT train was originally developed for the Swiss Federal Railways and was first delivered in 2004. The trains quickly became a success and were ordered by operators in Algeria, Belarus, Estonia, Germany, Finland, Hungary, Italy, Norway, Poland, Sweden and Switzerland. In August 2013, the order book stands at 910 sold units.
The FLIRT is a completely new developed light regional railcar even though it has a striking resemblance with GTW vehicles. The trains can be ordered with two to six sections and are available for all commonly used power system (AC and DC) as well as standard and broad gauge. Due to the use of jacobs bogies between the sections the whole trains becomes one single cabin that can be walked through. The floor height at the entrances can be chosen by the operator, providing level boarding at most stations. Automatic couplers of either Schwab type (on all Swiss units) or Scharfenberg type at both ends of the train allow up to four trains to be connected and disconnected quickly.
All FLIRT variations use IGBT power converters to drive the induction motors located in the two bogies at either end of the train. On the two-section trains, only one bogie is powered, while on longer versions it is possible to have a third powered bogie in the middle (currently only the trains for NSB). Each bogie usually has a continuous power rating of 1,000 kW (1,300 hp) giving a typical four-section train 2,000 kW (2,700 hp) total power output as well as maximum power output of 2,600 kW (3,500 hp) over a short time. Depending on the number of powered bogies, the length and weight, they will reach top speeds between 120 and 200 km/h (75 and 120 mph) (typically 160 km/h or 99 mph). Acceleration also varies between 0.8 and 1.2 m/s2 (2.6 and 3.9 ft/s2).
The Swiss Federal Railways were Stadler's first customer for the FLIRT when they ordered 42 units with options for 100 more in September 2002. The first vehicle was delivered in 2004 for the use on the Stadtbahn Zug.
Meanwhile the Swiss Federal Railways have ordered a total of 117 units that can be broken down into four different types that differ in their equipment for driving in neighboring countries. The base version is the RABe 523 that is used on the Stadtbahn Zug and the RER Lausanne. These 43 four-section units can only be used within Switzerland. The 30 RABe 521 and 14 RABe 522 are versions that can also be used in Germany and France respectively. They also consist of four sections and are used on the Basel S-Bahn. The last version is the Italy-capable RABe 524/ETR 150 that is used on Treni Regionali Ticino Lombardia (TILO) services in Ticino and northern Italy. The first 19 units of this type to be delivered were four-sections long, and were followed by eleven units ordered that six-sections long and are additionally equipped with the ETCS Level 2 train control system.
Besides the Swiss Federal Railways two other companies in Switzerland operate FLIRT trains: The Südostbahn uses 11 trains with the designation RABe 526 and the Transports Régionaux Neuchâtelois owns three trains (RABe 527).
The Czech private operator LEO Express ordered 5 units. Units are modified as InterCity trains. All 5 units have operated on the Prague–Ostrava line since December 2012. The maximum speed of these units is 189 km/h (117 mph), but in service it is limited to 160 km/h (99 mph).
41 four-section broad-gauged FLIRT units, classified as Sm5 in the Finnish system, have been ordered by Pääkaupunkiseudun junakalusto Oy (a joint venture between the cities of Helsinki, Espoo, Vantaa & Kauniainen and the VR Group) for service on the Helsinki commuter rail network. The Sm5 units will be leased by Pääkaupunkiseudun junakalusto to the Helsinki Metropolitan Area Council, but they will be operated by the VR Group. The initial order in 2006 was for 32 trainsets. Nine further units were ordered in 2011.
The first Sm5 unit arrived in Finland on 11 November 2008. Following preliminary testing the first unit was displayed to the public in Helsinki on 17 December 2008. During the remainder of on 2008 and for most of 2009 the Sm5 units were extensively tested in different parts of Finland. The first unit entered passenger service on 18 November 2009.
The Cantus Verkehrsgesellschaft, a joint subsidiary of Hessische Landesbahn and Hamburger Hochbahn, became the first German FLIRT operator when they received their first train in 2006. Their fleet consists of 14 three-car and 6 four-car units.
Since December 2007 Abellio Rail NRW operates 9 three-car and 8 two-car FLIRT trains for regional routes between Essen, Hagen, Iserlohn and Siegen. This was the first time that a FLIRT with only two sections was ordered.
In 2006 DB Regio, a subsidiary of Deutsche Bahn AG ordered five five-section vehicles for regional services on the German east coast. The trains were delivered in August 2007 and are now used on the routes Rostock-Stralsund–Lietzow–Sassnitz (Hanse-Express), Sassnitz–Stralsund and Binz–Lietzow.
The biggest order from Germany so far came in October 2006 from the leasing company Angel Trains Europa GmbH when they ordered 25 four-car FLIRT trains. All 25 units have been leased to Eurobahn who uses them on the Hellweg network in North Rhine-Westphalia. Only a year later, in November 2007, Angel Trains ordered 4 more four-car and 14 five-car trains that will also be used by Eurobahn.
On the InnoTrans 2008, a trade fair focused on rail transport, VIAS GmbH announced their order for 12 four-section and 7 three-section units. Starting in December 2010, the trains will be put on the Frankfurt–Koblenz route.
- Hungarian State Railways 60 unit
- GYÖR-Sopron-Ebenfurth Railway  (in 2012 ordered 4 units, delivery until Q2 2014)
- Hungarian State Railways (in 2013 ordered further 42 units, delivery until Q3 2015)
- GYÖR-Sopron-Ebenfurth Railway (in 2013 ordered further 6 units, delivery until Q3 2015)
In Italy FLIRT are used by six regional railways, in total units ordered and built are so divided among the following companies:
SAD used on Val Pusteria Railway name ETR 155 and ETR 170. C.a dual voltage 15 kV / 3 kV cc. Fleet: four units (ETR 155) and four units (ETR 170), In July 2011 have been ordered eight new units for routes within the jurisdiction of SAD.
Sistemi Territoriali: name ETR 340, single voltage to 3 kV DC, maximum speed 160 km / h . Fleet: two units from 2008, four and sixteen FLIRT ordered in 2009. The FLIRT ordered in 2009 will be built in conjunction with the AnsaldoBreda: the Stadler Rail will carry vehicles head of convoys, systems of traction and onboard auxiliary, the bogies and bearing while AnsaldoBreda realize intermediate cars, the staging and the final composition of the train and the delivery to the operators at the plant in Pistoia.
Tilo (Switzerland / Italy): RABe 524/ETR 150 C.a dual voltage 15 kV / 3 kV cc. Maximum speed 160 km / h. The first 19 units of this type to be delivered were four-sections long, and were followed by eleven units ordered that six-sections long and are additionally equipped with the ETCS Level 2 train control system.
Ferrovie Emilia Romagna: twelve units, in conjunction with the construction AnsaldoBreda: the Stadler Rail will carry out the head of the convoys of vehicles, systems, traction and onboard auxiliary, engines and carriages bearing while AnsaldoBreda carry out intermediate cars, the staging and the final composition of the train and the delivery to the operators at the plant in Pistoia.
50 Flirt units were ordered by the Norwegian State Railways (NSB), with a further 100 on option. Twenty-six units will be used on the Oslo Commuter Rail and the remaining 24 units will be used on regional and express routes. During spring and summer 2012 all Flirt trains used by NSB are to be fitted with free wireless Internet access for the passengers. In the NSB system, the FLIRT trains are classified as "class 74" for regional trainsets and "class 75" for local trainsets.
All trains will have five cars. However, in contrast to previous five-car FLIRTs they will have a third powered bogie giving them a maximum power output of 4,500 kW (6,000 hp) and a top speed of 200 km/h (120 mph). Trial runs started on the Bergen Line in 2009, using a SBB-CFF-FFS unit. The first units were scheduled to enter passenger service on 29 February 2012. The FLIRT's introduction was put on hold after a unit derailed during tests by NSB on 15 February 2012, injuring five people. The train had been entering a bend at 135 km/h (84 mph) instead of the allowed maximum speed of 70 km/h (43 mph). The first train entered into regular service on 2 May 2012 on the line from Skien to Lillehammer.
The NSB trains have a high seat density, with five seats (2+3) abreast, except for the "Komfort" section of the regional trains that have 2+2 seating. Some passengers have complained that the seats are too cramped, while NSB argue that more seats reduces the number of passengers who are forced to stand during peak traffic.
Koleje Mazowieckie in 2008 bought 10 four-car 3kV DC units for services in the Warsaw region. Koleje Śląskie (KŚ) bought 4 four-car 3kV DC units for service in Silesia. Łódzka Kolej Aglomeracyjna (ŁKA) in 2012 ordered 20 two-car units for service in the region around Łódź, for delivery by February 2015. PKP Intercity in August 2013 ordered 20 eight-car 3kV DC units with interiors for long distance travel and top speed of 160 km/h (99 mph), for service on four long distance routes in Poland, from a consortium of Stadler Polska and Newag for delivery by October 2015.
- Official Website
- Description of the SBB variants from Bruno Lämmli (in German)
- German language version in November 2009
- Spec Sheet for SBB Variant; French
- http://www.stadlerrail.com/en/news/2013/08/26/production-of-the-first-flirt-train-for-odz-agglom/ Stadler press release
- "Ein FLIRT für die Stadt Zug und die S-Bahn Basel" (Press release) (in German). Stadler Rail. 27 September 2002. Retrieved 29 November 2009.
- Bruno Lämmli. "SBB CFF FFS RABe 521 - 524" (in German). Retrieved 29 November 2009.
- "Stadler wins Alger contract". Railway Gazette International. 1 May 2006.
- Stadler wins in Belarus
- More Flirts for Belarus
- "Vlaky Leo Express budou černo-zlaté a vyjdou o třetinu levněji než pendolino" (in czech). 11 December 2010.
- "Elektriraudtee orders Stadler Flirt trains". Railway Gazette International. 12 April 2010.
- "Electric low-floor multiple unit FLIRT: Sm5 trains for Junakalusto Oy, Finland". Stadler Rail. Retrieved 12 November 2008.
- "SRS uutiset 2008" (in Finnish). Suomen raitiotieseura. 12 November 2008. Retrieved 12 November 2008.
- "Uusi Sm5 toimii kuin junan vessa". HS.fi (in Finnish). Helsingin Sanomat. 18 December 2008. Retrieved 19 December 2008.
- "Uusi kaupunkijuna liikenteeseen" (in Finnish). Pääkaupunkiseudun Junakalusto Oy. 13 November 2009. Retrieved 20 November 2009.
- "Major order for Stadler Pankow". Stadler Rail. 18 October 2006. Retrieved 28 November 2009.
- "Eurobahn signs operating contract". Railway Gazette International. 25 August 2009.
- "World rolling stock market November 2008". Railway Gazette. 16 November 2008. Retrieved 28 November 2009.
- "Budapest Flirt depot inaugurated". Railway Gazette International. 2 June 2007.
- "GySEV orders Flirts for upgraded line". Railway Gazette International. 18 April 2012.
- Stadler/AnsaldoBreda win the tender for new trains in the Veneto and Emilia Romagna regions
- "NSB selects Stadler for largest train order". Railway Gazette International. 20 August 2008.
- "FLIRT for the Norwegian State Railways Datasheet" (PDF). Stadler Rail AG. Retrieved November 27, 2005.
- "NSB stanser nye supertog etter ulykken" (in Norwegian). 15 February 2012.
- "Flirt-toget kjørte i 135 km/t i 70-sonen". Aftenposten. 17 February 2012. Retrieved 17 February 2012.
- "Dette blir bedre med de nye Flirt-togene". Teknisk Ukeblad. 2 Mai 2012. Retrieved 2 Mai 2012.
- Nilsen, Martin (3 December 2009). "Pendlere misfornøyd med tre seter i bredden fra NSB" (in Norwegian). Verdens Gang. Retrieved 27 July 2012. and Bjerva, Knut G.; Holm, Per Annar (2 November 2010). "NSBs "Flirt" krymper stolene" (in Norwegian). Aftenposten. Retrieved 27 July 2012.
- Railway Gazette International, 28 August 2013, 'Stadler and Newag win PKP Intercity order,' http://www.railwaygazette.com/news/news/europe/single-view/view/stadler-and-newag-win-pkp-intercity-train-order.html?sword_list
- "Stadler flirting in Serbia". Stadler Rail. 4 March 2013.
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