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|NS Class 8600/8700/9400/9500|
Two coupled VIRM units at Amsterdam Bijlmer ArenA
Downstairs interior of a VIRM train.
|In service||1994 - present|
|Manufacturer||De Dietrich Ferroviaire|
|Number built||178 sets|
|Formation||6 cars (8600/8700)
4 cars (9400/9500)
|Capacity||8600/8700 - 129 (1st), 442 (2nd)
9400/9500 - 61 (1st), 330 (2nd)
|Maximum speed||160 km/h (99 mph)|
|Power output||2,388 kW (3,202 hp) (8600/8700)
1,592 kW (2,135 hp) (9400/9500)
|Electric system(s)||1.5 kV DC Catenary; all units have extra space for equipment to operate on 25 kV AC Catenary|
|Current collection method||Pantograph|
|Track gauge||1,435 mm (4 ft 8 1⁄2 in) standard gauge|
VIRM trains, full name Verlengd InterRegio Materieel (Lengthened interregional rolling stock), are a series of electric multiple unit (EMU) double-deck trains operated by Nederlandse Spoorwegen or NS (Dutch Railways), the principal railway operator in the Netherlands. NS has 178 of these double-deckers — 98 four-carriage sets, and 80 six-carriage sets. The trains were built between 1994 and 2009 - for the most part by Talbot, part of Bombardier Inc., with some railcars built by De Dietrich.
The VIRM trains evolved out of the previously existing DD-IRM series (DubbelDeks InterRegio Materieel or Double-deck interregional rolling stock). The first batch of 81 VIRM trains was created by lengthening all the existing DD-IRM combinations by one or two railcars. Three-unit trainsets were augmented by one carriage to transform them into a four-unit VIRM, and the four-unit sets received two more carriages, to create six-unit VIRM trains.
- Verlengd InterRegio Materieel
The first generation of DD-IRM were delivered from 1994 to 1996 as three and four car units. The three car units were delivered in the 82xx class and the four car units delivered as 84xx. The first batch of 290 double deck coaches (individual) were delivered. The first 47 were built by De Dietrich and from then on by Talbot.
As the coaches were individual but would run as a unit, they are individually numbered. Collectively they have a set number e.g., 8201, having coach number 380 8001. However, there are no double numbers, for example there can not be an 8201 and 8401 at the same time.
In 2000 an order was placed for new coaches. The 3 car sets were to be upgraded to 4 car sets, and the four car sets upgraded to 6 car sets. This is why they are now called VIRM (V = verlengd - extended). These were renumbered into the 94xx series and the 86xx series. These sets were formed between 2001 and 2005.
The second generation of VIRM were new sets built to the 4 and 6 coach formations, at the same time as the first generation were rebuilt. These were numbered 95xx (4 car units) and 87xx (6 car units). These sets featured different seats, which were also in the new coaches placed inside the first generation sets.
These sets were delivered from June 2008 and these are all 4 car units. They are numbered 9547 - 9597. These sets differ in that they do not feature the catering lift, meaning the stairs could be wider and the destination screens inside the coaches have disappeared, where in the future screens with more information will be put in place.
|mBvk1/2 290||8501–8662 (162)||8663–8712 (50)||8713–8754 (42)||8759–8861 (103)|
|ABv3/4 380||8001–8081 (81)||8101–8125 (25)||8126–8146 (21)||8147–8197 (51)|
|ABv5 380||8201–8247 (47)||8248–8259 (12)||8260–8280 (21)|
|ABv6 380||8301–8381 (81)||8382–8406 (25)||8407–8427 (21)||8428–8478 (51)|
|mBv7 260||8801–8847 (47)||8848–8859 (12)||8860–8880 (21)|
- 34 trainsets in 9401–9481, no double numbering with 47 trainsets in 8601–8681
- 12 trainsets 8701...8723 only odd numbers plus 13 trainsets 9502...9525 remaining numbers
- mBvk1/2 8755–8758 are reserve carbodies, 8755 has become replacement 8718
- mBvk1/2 8829 was built as a replacement vehicle for an older trainset
- 8733 - This featured adverts between the two decks, advertising that it was the 300th VIRM set built. Livery no longer carried.
- 9514 - This carries adverts for Lekker lezen in de trein, Comfortable reading in the train.
- 9525 - This wore the adverts for the NS/Olympic partnership.
- 9522 – This wore a white/magenta livery advertising the OV-Chipkaart.
- 9524 – This wore advertising liveries for Mamma Mia and The Lion King. As well as that, it wore a completely white/magenta livery, advertising the OV-chipkaart similar to unit no. 9522.
- 9520 - This carried an orange/blue livery advertising Queen Beatrix Wilhelmina Armgard resigning from the throne.
The VIRM is now the main intercity train and can be seen across most of the NS network.
In 2015, NS hopes to let 50% of their trains run on electricity powered by windmills. By 2018, all the trains should be running on "clean" electricity. To celebrate this and the fact that the first Dutch railway line was opened 175 years ago, NS and Eneco Energy held a competition. Designers had to design a green train.
The winners were two students from the Technical University in Delft. Their names are Michiel van Sinderen and Steffen de Jonge. Their design was to have the train be checkered with small black and blue squares. From even a small distance the train appears to be green. Michiel van Sinderen said it was the most beautiful thing he had ever made. This design was brought on VIRM number 9556. It was named De Groene Trein which means The Green Train. The difference between this train and other VIRMs is the paler shade of yellow and white arrows on the doors, similar to those on DDZ trains and modernized ICRm railway cars.
Accidents and incidents
- On 21 April 2012, unit 8711 was one of the two trains involved in a head-on collision near Amsterdam Sloterdijk station.
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