Stadler Rail has handed over the first unit of the altogether 6 FLIRT intercity trains that it produced for the Hong-Kong based private operator MTR Express for operation in Sweden. The factory acceptance of the new train by the customer was held today in Bussnang, Switzerland. Stadler once again managed to produce the vehicle train of the ordered series in record time, within only one year, which is exceptionally fast in the railway industry. The first FLIRT of the five-carriage fleet will expectedly start commercial operation in March 2015 on the Gothenburg-Stockholm route.
Stadler received the order from MTR Express altogether for six intercity FLIRTs only in November last year, and by now the company was able to successfully pass the factory acceptance of the first vehicle. The order is worth around CHF 85 million, the production and commissioning of the trains are carried out in Switzerland. With the new units MTR Express will provide a long-distance intercity service with around 16 connections per day on the route between Stockholm and Gothenburg. MTR Express is not the only operator on this route, it will provide the service in competition with the Swedish state railway operator, which is possible due to the deregulation of the Swedish passenger rail market. After the factory acceptance the first unit is going to Sweden, and after receiving the permit for commercial operation, it will start service expectedly around March 2015. The last, 6th unit will start carrying passengers in August 2015.
The five-carriage trains operate with 15 kV alternating current and are equipped with the Swedish train control system ATP L 10’000. The top speed of these trains is 200 km/h, and they have been specifically designed to fulfil the strict requirements of extreme climatic conditions like severe winters of -40 Celsius degrees. Features include, for example, improved isolation, floor heating, double-wall intercar gangways, snow scrapers between bogies and carriage body as well as a heat recovery system. This technology has already proven itself in Stadler trains for other Nordic countries, like Finland, Norway, Estonia or Belarus. The trains have a lightweight aluminium carbody, which allows the vehicles to accelerate faster, thus significantly reducing energy consumption and operating costs in comparison to conventional vehicles.