Österreichische Bundesbahnen Infrastruktur AG, the Austrian railway infrastructure company, has awarded an order to Siemens Mobility and Logistics to equip the Nordbahn route between Vienna and Břeclav (Czech Republic) with the European Train Control System (ETCS). An ETCS Level 2 of the Trainguard 200 RBC type will be installed along the 87 km rail link and eleven stations will also be equipped. The overall volume amounts to some 7 million Euros. Commissioning is scheduled for the end of 2013. The scope of the contract also includes an option for equipping the Central Station in Vienna for around 4.5 million Euros.
“As pioneers in ETCS technology, we offer technically mature systems and components for all ETCS Levels with our Trainguard 200. Over 70 years of experience in automatic train control has gone into developing Trainguard and we are unique in being able to supply a flexibly scalable system of trackside, vehicle and communication equipment for all ETCS applications”, explained Jochen Eickholt, CEO of Siemens Business Unit Rail Automation.
Vehicles fitted with ETCS Level 2 can be located independently in this line section and transmit their positions cyclically to the Radio Block Center. The RBC constantly receives the latest process image from the interlockings and gives the train permission to proceed via radio transmission.
The information is visualized on the cab display. The digital mobile radio system for railway operations, GSM-R (Global System for Mobile Communication – Railways), is used for transmission purposes while eurobalises serve as reference points for localization of the vehicles.
Trainguard 200 RBC can be integrated into existing infrastructure without the need for costly adaptation as interlockings are linked up via standard interfaces. This means that different interlocking designs can be supported. Speed restriction sections are, for example, programmed via the Trainguard 200 RBC operator workstation which can either be set up locally or integrated into a higher-level operation and control system.
Mobility is a basic need in our society; it is essential for the development of the economy, business location and our entire society. Mobility needs are increasing drastically, as is illustrated by all traffic forecasts. Our challenge: how can we shape the rapidly growing volume of traffic, both in freight as well as passenger transport, to ensure it is sustainable, environmentally sound and socially acceptable?My strategy is clear: I am focusing on developing rail, I want to ensure the growth in freight transport is handled using environmentallyfriendly rail transport and I am pushing the research and implementation of intelligent traffic systems and alternative drive models. We have paved the way for Austria in this direction!In Austria we have put together the largest rail investment package for decades. The foundations for this were traffic forecasts and a strategic development plan based on this. By 2016, we will invest €12.8 billion in rail. As a comparison, road investment lies at €6.5 billion. This clearly shows that rail has priority in terms of investment.
The Viennese love their public transport. Thirty-six percent of all trips within Austria’s capital are made by subway, tram and bus. This makes Vienna an international leader in the field of public transport – and that is certainly quite something.Alongside having good infrastructure and modern vehicles, there is no doubt that customer focus is the most important factor for this popularity. This is also illustrated in the current customer satisfaction studies of Wiener Linien: no less than 95% of the 900 respondents surveyed evaluated the service of Wiener Linien as good – a plus of 2% compared with the previous year.However, Wiener Linien is not resting on its laurels; not only is it trying to maintain high customer satisfaction but also to boost it even further through different means.The launch of its social media presence in March 2011 constituted another step towards greater customer orientation and customer satisfaction, making Wiener Linien a pioneer amongst European local public transport providers.
AUSTRIA: Technische Universität Wien is heading a consortium of Wien transport operator Wiener Linien, Siemens, Vossloh Kiepe, Rail Tec Arsenal and SCHIG, which is undertaking research into operating strategies and design alterations which could lower the energy consumption of trams. Launched in March 2010 and backed by Austrian research agency FFG, the €1·35m EcoTram project is focusing on reducing the energy used for heating, ventilation and air-conditioning without compromising passenger comfort. Real-world data is being gathered using sensors installed on a Wiener Linien Siemens Ulf tram, both in passenger service and in Rail Tech Arsenal's climate chamber. According to Siemens, simple modifications to the 300 Ulf cars in services could save 30 000 tonnes of CO2 a year, and more significant changes could double this. The project is scheduled to run until November 2013.
24. 11. 11. - 15:56
Railroad price fight in full swing
Federal Railways (ÖBB) and Westbahn have broken their promise not to engage in a price war.
ÖBB chief Christian Kern explained in several interviews his company would focus on better quality and customer service in its attempt to weather the intensified competition on the tracks between Vienna and Salzburg. Westbahn executive manager Stefan Wehinger promised in April his enterprise wanted to charge similar prices as ÖBB but would outpace the federal firm as far as service aspects and travel comfort were concerned.
Now Westbahn reacted to a new cut-price ticket offer of ÖBB by launching its own low-cost train travel initiative. The private company said yesterday (Weds) 7,500 tickets for 7.50 Euros were up for sale. The tickets will be valid for its service from Vienna to Salzburg. Westbahn will start operating 13 times a day between the cities on 11 December.
ÖBB put 25,000 tickets for 15 Euros each on the market earlier this week. The tickets enable customers to travel between Vienna and Bregenz in the western province of Vorarlberg or on just a certain part of the connection.
Regular Westbahn tickets will cost 23.80 Euros which is as much as ÖBB charges for second-class journeys between Vienna and Salzburg. The ÖBB price applies only to holders of the VorteilsCard, a bonus card which costs 99 Euros a year. Most ÖBB trains operating between Vienna and Salzburg continue to destinations in Switzerland, Germany and Hungary while Westbahn only has a concession for the Vienna – Salzburg link.
Wehinger criticised ÖBB for creating more pressure as far as ticket prices were concerned by deciding to offer 15-Euro tickets. He claimed the company was doing so on the backs of taxpayers. ÖBB is partly owned by the state. It receives hundreds of millions of Euros a year for operating on non-profitable routes. The connection between Vienna and Salzburg is the only service it actually makes a profit with.
Hans Peter Haselsteiner, who founded Westbahn and holds an interest in the railroad firm, said already some weeks ago that he may take the Republic of Austria to court for pouring money into ÖBB. The businessman argued his firm was disadvantaged because of the state’s investments into ÖBB as the payments helped the firm to introduce low ticket prices.
The Westbahn founder recently told the Salzburger Nachrichten he hoped that "commuters disappointed with ÖBB’s services" would become Westbahn’s most important group of customers. His firm’s trains will stop seven times between Vienna and Salzburg. The schedule of ÖBB’s premium model, the Railjet, features only stops in the Lower Austrian city of St. Pölten and in Linz, Upper Austria.
ÖBB had 210 million passengers last year. Its Postbus coach service affiliate recorded around 250 million clients. France was the only other European Union (EU) country with a higher per capita train travelling record than Austria (1,270 km) in 2010 at 1,370 kilometres (km), according to the Austrian Traffic Club. Switzerland topped a comparison which also considered non-EU states. The country’s per capita train travelling figure was 2,390 km last year.
GIRO is pleased to announce the signing of multiple contracts in 2011 for upgrades to existing HASTUS™ software installations in Germany and Austria. Last summer, Hamburger Hochbahn AG (HOCHBAHN) became the latest client to purchase a 2011 German-version HASTUS upgrade.
HASTUS is an advanced software solution that comprises a suite of integrated modules designed for optimized planning and management of public transportation. Thanks in large part to GIRO’s dynamic R&D program, HASTUS has established itself as the industry benchmark for more than 30 years. GIRO’s ongoing commitment to innovation ensures the company’s clients are able to deliver efficient, high-quality service to public transport customers. By regularly releasing a new HASTUS version, GIRO continues to expand its software offering with an impressive array of new features and enhancements that help the company and its clients maintain positions of leadership in their respective areas of business.
“For years, HASTUS has been the optimal software solution for us. HASTUS 2011 will open up additional possibilities enabling us to continue scheduling our complex operations effectively,” said Dr. Heinrich Böse, Director of Technical Bus Planning and Systems at Hamburger Hochbahn AG.
“We are very pleased with the number of confirmed purchases of the German-language version of HASTUS in 2011, as this contributes to the ongoing expansion of GIRO’s established international presence,” said Alain Martinais, GIRO’s Director of Marketing. “Software upgrades are an important affirmation of the quality of our software and the support services we provide. This is further evidenced through analyses conducted by clients such as Hamburger Hochbahn AG, which showed there were numerous reasons to continue trusting their transportation scheduling and optimization to HASTUS.”
This should have been under Italy.
Tramwaje like (poland) has bought 15 Type E1 trams from Wiener Linien.
AUSTRIA: Plasser & Theurer presented its fully-automatic APT 1500 R rail welding robot at the 18th International Convention of the Austrian Society for Traffic & Transport Science in Salzburg. The welding robot performs an automated electric flash-butt welding sequence without manual interaction, ensuring high and reproducible geometric accuracy, fracture forces and fatigue strength. Rails are lifted automatically into the welding head and positioned correctly, with the gap between the rail ends closed by pulling the rails together using a device with a tractive force of up to 1500 kN integrated into the welding head. The clamping jaws are designed so that it is not necessary to grind off the maker's marks on the rail web. Optional use of pulsation welding achieves a high-quality weld in less time and with shorter burn-off lengths. The welding current is transmitted to the underside of the rail head and to the upper side of the rail foot, thus reducing the preparation work before grinding. The welding plant incorporates a non-contact temperature measurement system to ensure accurate cooling of high-alloy rails and integrated air quenching for fast cooling of head-hardened rails. All major parameters are recorded and stored. The new welding robot has been approved and certified in Germany and Austria.
AUSTRIA: A Bombardier Transportation- Vossloh Kiepe consortium has won an order from transport authority Wiener Linien for five new T1 trainsets for light metro line U6. The €60m deal announced on December 16 is an option under a contract signed in 2004. Bombardier’s share is worth €46m. Delivery of the air-conditioned light rail vehicles will run from autumn 2013 to 2014. The 26∙8 m long and 2 650 mm wide LRVs will enable Wiener Linien to reduce intervals at peak times down to 2½ min from the current 3 min resulting in 20% more capacity. According to Bombardier, regenerative braking and LED lighting will reduce each vehicle’s lifetime energy consumption by 2∙5 million kWh and CO2 emissions by 1 500 tonnes compared to existing fleets.
VIENNA (AP) - A major east-west railway route in Austria has been shut down following heavy snow in Tyrol, a popular Alpine skiing region.
Railway operator OeBB said the line between Oetztal and Bludenz - part of a route that connects Vienna and Innsbruck with Austria's western tip and Switzerland - was expected to remain closed until Sunday afternoon.
Two other rail lines connecting Tyrol province with southern Germany also were shut down. Overhead wires have been damaged by falling trees.
Heavy snow has blanketed Tyrol over recent days, leading to several road closures and an elevated risk of avalanches.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed
GENEVA — Heavy snow is blanketing much of the central Alpine region between eastern Switzerland and western Austria, causing traffic accidents and bringing road and rail traffic to a crawl.
Three days of snowfall has dumped over 3 feet (1 meter) of fresh snow in some areas.
Part of a major east-west railway link in Austria's Tyrol province remained closed Sunday. Authorities said a Czech man received life-threatening injuries in Austria on Saturday when a car skidded and hit him as he was fitting snow chains to his own car.
In Switzerland, authorities warned of avalanche risk throughout the Swiss Alps and Jura mountains.
Meteo Suisse predicted an end to the snowfall by Monday and perfect winter sports conditions throughout the week.
(This version CORRECTS APNewsNow. Corrects that Czech man received life-threatening injuries, wasn't killed.)
.SNOW STOPS TRAINS IN AUSTRIA
on January 18, 2012 in Mishaps Europe
The main east-west railway route in western Austria was shut down on 7 January following heavy snow in the popular Alpine skiing region. Österreichische Bundesbahnen (ÖBB – Austria’s state railway) said the line between Oetztal and Bludenz — on the main-line from Vienna to Innsbruck and Switzerland — was expected to remain closed until the following afternoon. Two other lines, which connect the Tyrol region with southern Germany, were also shut down, as overhead wires were damaged by falling trees. Heavy snow blanketed the Tyrol and neighbouring Vorarlberg, Austria’s westernmost province.
Austro-Hungarian regional railway GYSEV carried 3.4m passengers in 2011, up 7.8% yr/yr, GYSEV Spokesman Laszlo Razo told MTI on Wednesday.
Mr Razo noted that the railway’s 2011 passenger data does not include December traffic along a 214 kilometers of railway taken over from Hungarian state-owned railway MAV in October 2011.
The Hungarian state owns 65.6% of GYSEV, while the Austrian state owns 28.2% and construction company Strabag SE owns 6.1%.
Railway punctuality keeps getting better
Federal Railways (ÖBB) managed to lower the number of delayed trains, according to Austrian Times.
The state-funded firm said that 96.6 per cent of its passenger services ran on time or were behind schedule by less than five minutes last year. This percentage figure means that the Vienna-based railroad company improved in this concern over the years. Only 90.5 per cent of its passenger trains ran on time in 2009 before their share rose to 94.2 per cent in 2010.
ÖBB is getting closer to Swiss Federal Railways (SBB) as far as punctuality is regarded. SBB is widely seen as the best federal railroad service operator in the world due to its reliability and a network of connections linking rural regions with industrialised areas. Around 96.1 per cent of SBB’s trains arrived on time in 2010, down by 0.2 per cent compared to 2009. The Swiss firm achieved a rate of 97.3 per cent last year.
ÖBB – which is headed by ex-Verbund AG executive board member Christian Kern – also announced yesterday that Germany’s Deutsch Bahn (DB) had a punctuality rate of 92.9 per cent last year. Speaking to Austrian newspaper Die Presse recently, SBB chief Andreas Meyer said he was convinced that ÖBB would not collapse despite its high losses. "There might be synergies, but SBB and ÖBB will still be independent companies (in 20 years’ time)," Meyer said.
ÖBB sustained a loss of 28 million Euros in 2011, according to preliminary annual business report figures presented yesterday. This means a significant improvement compared to the year before when the company had to argue an all-time record loss of 330 million Euros. Especially its cargo subsidiary company, Rail Cargo Austria (RCA), experienced immense difficulties following years of high activity.
The pressure on ÖBB’s passenger transportation department rose last month when Westbahn, a private company founded by construction business tycoon Hans Peter Haselsteiner, entered the tracks. Westbahn started offering daily connections between federal capital Vienna and Salzburg, the birthplace of composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, on 11 December.
ÖBB and Westbahn met in court several times in recent months over various issues regarding schedules, marketing campaign claims and other issues. Haselsteiner revealed he was planning to launch legal action against the Republic of Austria over subsidies for ÖBB. The Strabag SE boss argued the payments enabled ÖBB to offer cut-price tickets for its Vienna – Salzburg service. The connection is the only passenger railway link the state-funded firm is making a profit with.
Kern admitted he would consider a possible Westbahn victory regarding subsidies as a "disaster". Kern said ÖBB may be forced to jack up ticket prices if the state was ordered by judges to reduce its financial support for his enterprise. ÖBB counted 210 million passengers in 2010. Another 250 million Euros used its Postbus bus and coach services. Reports have it that Postbus could be privatised if ÖBB failed to achieve a profit in the near future. Labour union officials appealed on decision-makers to clearly dissociate themselves from such a step.
ÖBB receives 560 million Euros a year from the state to operate unprofitable connections. The company is provided with around six billion Euros in credits, guarantees and direct investments by the government coalition of Social Democrats (SPÖ) and the People’s Party (ÖVP) each year. ÖBB must carry out various infrastructure projects – including expensive tunnel constructions and various small renovation procedures – in return. Kern said yesterday the current strategy of ÖBB was trying to achieve a profit in 2015.
Funkwerk has won a contract from Austrian railway company ÖBB to supply GSM-R handheld radios.
Under the contract Funkwerk will supply more than 2,000 handheld devices of the new focX product range, which are scheduled to run until 2016.
The focX handhelds are based on the latest global system for mobile communication for railways (GSM-R) standard and are designed to transfer voice and data in rail-specific mobile radio communication.
GSM-R was introduced as the standard for digital information transfer in an effort to harmonise European rail transport communications and is now used by as many as 32 railway companies in Europe.
Rated to IP 65, the handheld devices are equipped to protect themselves from dust and water jets, making them suitable for use in very tough environments.
Handheld devices offered by Funkwerk come with a transflective display which allows a good readability of user information even under direct sunlight exposure.
They are also suitable for those who have not launched GSM-R throughout their whole service areas or for railway operators, the company said.
Rail operators can also use them as direct mode (simplex) based on the European-wide harmonised UIC 450MHz frequency band in GSM-R traffic hot-spots where no additional GSM-R frequency resources are available.
OBB said during bidding it opted for products from Funkwerk as it is a specialist in communication systems for railway companies and the European market provider in mobile GSM-R train radio systems.
In 2004, ÖBB had acquired train radio equipment and systems from Funkwerk, along with many other rail operators across Europe.
As part of its ongoing reintroduction, the company is focusing efforts in its traffic and control communication segment on train and rail transport while improving its international market position.
Austerity poses "real struggle" for ÖBB, warns Kern
Friday, February 24, 2012
AUSTRIAN Federal Railways (ÖBB) CEO Mr Christian Kern has warned the company faces a "real struggle" to meet customer demand as Austria's coalition government continues to squeeze its budget.
"We have already reduced investments in trains and information technology to a minimum," Kern told the Kurier newspaper on February 20.
The government has scrapped a tax break on mineral oil products which will increase costs by €200m per year.
In addition, the government also announced last month it will cut €920m from ÖBB's infrastructure budget for 2012-16, which means several regional infrastructure projects are likely to be axed. However, Kern stresses that the Koralm, Semmering and Brenner base tunnel projects will continue, although ÖBB will seek to reduce costs on all three schemes.
The crisis in the Eurozone and fears that Austria's credit rating could be downgraded has prompted the government to revise its budget for this year.
ÖBB posted a record loss of €330m in 2010, but reduced the deficit to €28m last year and aims to achieve a profit next year, although it is unclear what impact the reduction in government support will have on targets for this year.
The cuts were announced just days after ÖBB revealed 96.6% of passenger services arrived within five minutes of schedule in 2011, a 6.1% improvement over 2010.
Siemens to expand light rail production in Wien
24 February 2012
AUSTRIA: Siemens has announced plans to invest around €50m to increase the capacity of light rail production facilities at its Simmering plant in Wien, which is the headquarters of the Metro, Coaches & Light Rail business unit within the Rail Systems Division of its Infrastructure & Cities Sector.
Unveiling a mock-up of an Inspiro trainset for Warszawa Metro on February 21, the head of the MCL business Sandra Gott-Karlbauer said Siemens was looking to grow its activities in the short-distance rail sector by around 50% this year, identifying opportunities in both Europe and Asia. The company estimates that the market is worth around €7bn a year and is growing by 4% to 5% a year.
The MCL business unit currently has three major orders in progress. As well as working with Newag to supply 35 Inspiro trainsets to Warszawa Metro under a €275m contract awarded in 2010, it is assembling 21 six-car C2.11 trainsets valued at €165m for the München U-Bahn. In November 2011 Siemens won a €115m contract to supply 40 Avenio low-floor trams to HTM in Den Haag.
As part of the investment at Wien, the alumumum bodyshell assembly and finishing workshops are to be expanded, along with related logistics facilities. There will be further investment in automated technology, and the programme is expected to create up to 200 jobs.
As well as Wien and the bogie plant in Graz, the MCL business unit is responsible for facilities at Erlangen and Krefeld in Germany, Paris and Lille in France and Bratislava in Slovakia. Outside Europe, it manages the US light rail vehicle plant at Sacramento and the Siemens Traction Equipment Ltd joint venture in Zhuzhou, China.
• Bombardier Transportation and the Vienna Transport Authority (VTA) have equipped 120 older trams with new electronics to improve environmental performance. Bombardier and VTA installed “chopper control” to replace the old, high-maintenance onboard technology, Bombardier officials said in a prepared statement. The new control enables the operator to recoup between 25 and 30 percent braking energy, similar to newer low-floor trams. The braking energy is then fed back into the network to power the tram operation, Bombardier officials said.
The Viennese public transport agency said yesterday (Sun) 120 older tramways would soon be equipped with a new steering system. Thecompany explained that electricity would be produced during the public transport vehicles’ slowing-down processes. The created energy flows back into the system to provide other operating trams with power. The technology will help reduce the fleet’s carbon emissions by 4,900 tons a year, according to the city-owned enterprise.
More than 10 million Euros will be invested in the modernisation of Wiener Linien’s old generation of trams in the coming months. The newer generation of trams in operation in the Austrian capital at the moment were manufactured by Siemens Austria. The company – which is part of German company Siemens, one of the most powerful brands in the world – achieves a turnover of around one billion Euros a year by producing public transport vehicles such as trams and long-distance train wagons.
Siemens Austria increased its specialised workforce by 200 in the past two years due to rising demand for its public transport products, company officials said last month. Around 50 million Euros were spent on its Viennese factory to keep up to date with global public transport developments.
Siemens Austria was recently assigned to produce and deliver underground trains for the public transport network in Polish capital Warsaw. The deal has a volume of 273 million Euros. The business headed by former Porr AG chief Wolfgang Hesoun was further asked to manufacture trams for The Hague in the Netherlands and underground trains for the award-winning public transport network of Munich, Germany. Nevertheless, Siemens Austria’s various branches register the strongest growth rates in Asia.
The Viennese government coalition of Mayor Michael Häupl’s Social Democrats (SPÖ) and the Green Party recently asked Bombardier Austria to produce 20 new underground trains for the city’s U6 service. The decision to give the all-clear to the assignment came shortly after the head of the firm, Germar Wacker, warned that 300 jobs might be at risk if the city government kept postponing the order. Bombardier Austria is part of Bombardier, one of the busiest public transport vehicle producers in the world. The Canadian company has more than 65,000 employees in the world. It generates two-digit million-Euro turnovers year after year.
Wacker issued his warning after experts warned the Viennese coalition from economically challenging times ahead. The city’s debts rose by almost two billion Euros to over three billion Euros from 2009 to 2010. SPÖ Financial Affairs Councillor Renate Brauner pointed out that Vienna had, alongside Tyrol, the lowest per capita debt among Austria’s nine provinces at 1,807 Euros.
The U6 is one of five underground train lines in operation in Vienna where 2.2 million people use trams, buses and U-Bahn train services each day. The U-Bahn train service started in 1976 when a part of what is today’s U4 line was opened. The first electric tram started operating in Vienna, which has 1.7 million residents today, in 1897. Public transport claims a share of 37 per cent in the city where the price for annual public transport passes will decline from 449 to 365 Euros in May.
ÖBB has appointed DO&CO to provide onboard catering services from April.
The first trains at the new Vienna main train station are expected to start arriving in August.
Admittedly this will only be a test service but if that works out organisers are hoping that the station can start to at least in part take regular services.
Those who will be travelling on the Ostbahn at the end of the year will be the first customers.
ÖBB-Chef Christian Kern said the new project had presented many technical problems that actually made it even more difficult than for example planning a similar project in Berlin.
That included the fact that the Ostbahn railway line and the Sudbahn were operating on different levels and these needed to be equalised.
He said: "The different height levels between the two will be sorted out in the next few months and that is going to involve about 1 million cubic metres of earth being dug up and carted away.
The plan is that the railway station will be in full service by 2014. Until then around 500 people are working around the clock in what is currently the biggest building site in Europe, and the numbers are likely to increase to around 2000 by 2014.
That includes the need to complete the new shopping centre in the train station as well as the underground levels and the various electrical wiring and put down a hundred kilometres of railway track inside the area put aside for the railway depot.
There are also office and flats to be built as part of the 4 billion Euro project, Austrian Times reports.
Rail Cargo Austria and Forst Holz Papier prolong partnership
17. December 2012
The partnership between the forestry/timber/paper collaboration platform Forst Holz Papier (FHP) and Rail Cargo Austria (RCA) is to be continued. The agreement to prolong the alliance ensures that Austria’s timber will continue to be hauled by rail in 2013 und 2014. RCA, the railfreight division of Austria’ state railway, has Europe’s most dense service network at its disposal. (ben)
Mariazellerbahn commissions a stairway to heaven
20 December 2012
AUSTRIA: More than 2500 people attended celebrations at the Mariazellerbahn's Laubenbachmühle depot on December 16 to mark the unveiling of the first of nine low-floor electric multiple-units which Stadler Rail is supplying for Austria's longest narrow gauge railway.
Bishop of St Pölten Klaus Küng and Superintendent of the Evangelical Church in Niederösterreich Paul Weiland named the first unit 'Die Himmeltreppe' (Stairway to Heaven), a name chosen for the fleet to reflect the line's terminus in the pilgrimage centre of Mariazell. The branding for the new trains was developed by Hannes Rausch and includes a gold livery with 'Stairs to Heaven' logo.
Designed to accommodate tourists as well as regular passengers, the 2 650 mm wide three-car articulated EMUs offer 116 seats in one class, plus 11 folding seats and space for up to 12 bicycles, prams, luggage or up to 100 standing passengers. One of the two toilets is wheelchair-accessible. The EMUs are designed to operate at up to 80 km/h, and are expected to bring a reduction in journey times on the mountainous route when they enter service by December 2013.
From Easter 2014 the EMUs will haul panoramic coaches during the tourist season. Four 16·6 m long panoramic cars are on order, and will have 36 first class seats arranged 2+1.
The €65m order for new stock was placed by transport authority NÖVOG in December 2010 as part of a €117m programme to modernise the 85 km route between St Pölten and Mariazell.
The includes modernisation of the 760 mm gauge track and infrastructure (€20m) along with the unusual 6·5 kV 25 Hz electrification (€7·5m), signalling systems (€4·5m) and depot and buildings (€20m). The aim is to increase ridership on the line from 500 000 to 700 000 passengers a year.