This is its first sale in Azerbaijan and a further milestone in the strategy to tap into the CIS markets. The order is worth around CHF 120 million (including a comprehensive spare parts package and personnel training). The carriages will be used on the Baku–Tbilisi–Istanbul line. They will have gauge-changing bogies to allow non-stop services between Georgia and Turkey. The order covers five different carriage types with a high-quality interior. The carriages will be built at the Stadler works in Altenrhein.
Peter Spuhler, owner and CEO of Stadler Rail Group, is delighted about the order from Azerbaijan: “This order means we have gained a foothold in another CIS market. The development of new products and tapping into new markets are very important to us. This is the only way to ensure our Swiss plants will be working to capacity in the medium term.” The European debt crisis, which started in late 2010, has meant a fall in orders received by Stadler Rail from the traditional Western European markets. In reaction to this, one of the company’s various strategic objectives is to tap into new markets in the CIS. The order for Aeroexpress double-decker multiple-unit trains to connect Moscow city centre with three major airports was an important milestone in 2013.
Changing gauges from east to west
Thanks to specialist gauge-changing bogies, the carriages can be used both in the CIS (broad-gauge: 1,520 mm) and on European standard tracks (1,435 mm). The plan is to set up a gauge-changing system in the Georgian town of Akhalkalaki near the Turkish border to allow efficient use of the trains on the international Baku–Tbilisi–Kars–Istanbul line. The bogies are fitted with RAFIL/DBAG type V gauge-changing wheelsets, which are compatible with other gauge-changing systems along the CIS borders. This means the same systems can be used. The carriages comply with the European clearance profile in accordance with UIC. In addition to the trains, which are to be supplied between mid-2016 and mid-2017, the contract also includes a comprehensive spare parts package and training for train and maintenance personnel. There is also an option for an additional 70 sleeper carriages
High degree of travel comfort
Azerbaijan Railways will use the 30 carriages to form sets of 10-carriage trains. The order comprises 27 sleeper carriages and 3 dining carriages. The sleeper carriages include 3 first-class carriages (16 beds, each compartment has its own wet room with toilet and shower), 18 second-class carriages (34 beds, one toilet, one shower), 3 first-/second-class carriages (20 beds, wet rooms in first-class compartments and family compartments) and 3 special carriages (with a more spacious compartment for those with restricted mobility, four second-class compartments with 16 beds and a compartment for the train manager). The three dining carriages have 28 seats each. This means a 10-carriage train will normally have 257 beds. Each carriage has vacuum toilets with a sealed system and an emergency power supply with generator to allow 24-hour operation. All carriages are fully air-conditioned with a redundant air-conditioning system.