ÖBB puts Railjet from Siemens Mobility into service and orders 19 more trains


Author: Mankirat Kaur

Austrian Federal Railways (ÖBB) inaugurated service today for the first Railjet of the new generation from Siemens Mobility.

The new train, featuring numerous innovations, will initially operate on the Vienna-Feldkirch route. Excluding the locomotive, the nine-car train is around 240 meters long and offers 532 seats. It has two first-class cars with business class sections, an on-board restaurant with seating, four second-class (economy class) cars, a multifunctional economy class car, and an economy class driving car.

Andreas Matthä, CEO ÖBB Holding said: “We are delighted that we’re expanding our ÖBB long-distance fleet with 19 more new-generation Railjets. People are traveling more and many prefer to do so by train. In response to this development, which is beneficial for the environment and climate, we are increasing the number of modern trains. With the new travel experience at the Brenner Pass, we are able to further enhance the popularity of this route. The new generation of Railjets offers our passengers a truly first-class travel experience and raises rail comfort to a new level.”

Albrecht Neumann, CEO Rolling Stock Siemens Mobility said: “The new generation of Railjets with their many impressive innovations in the interior provide the highest level of comfort and convenience to passengers. By helping make rail travel more attractive, these trains will make an important contribution toward achieving climate targets. The order for 19 additional trains is a strong signal underscoring the quality and technology of Siemens Mobility.”

Special technical features

The new high-tech lightweight bogies are 30 percent lighter, provide a higher level of comfort than comparable products, and require fewer raw materials in production. They also make operation of the train more economical over its entire lifecycle since it uses less energy, particularly when accelerating and braking.

In addition, the trains have windows panes that are optimally radio-permeable for improved mobile reception. The patented windows have a special laser-beamed structure that is scarcely detectable by passengers. Developed by Siemens in Vienna, the windows conduct signal power that is 50 times stronger than standard glass. Measurements taken on an ÖBB Railjet already in service show that the available time of good 4G reception is increased by 33 percent. Advanced digitalisation technology also ensures smooth, problem-free operation of the trains: Each train continually transmits self-diagnostic data to the maintenance depot via a secure and highly reliable data link. This monitoring makes it easier to plan maintenance work, contributing to higher train availability and ultimately more satisfied passengers.

Further sustainability is achieved by increasing the train’s energy efficiency with features like LED interior lighting, an air conditioning system operating with a heat pump for both cooling and heating, and fresh air ventilation regulated according to the CO2 level of the interior air.

Greater passenger comfort than ever before

Depending on their preference, passengers have a choice of seating: in compartments, in open-plan cars, or in raised seating areas with slightly higher seat heights. Passengers preferring a quieter ride can sit in designated quiet zones, while families can use the family zones with game board tables. Seat backrests without gaps provide greater privacy between the seat rows, so passengers can, for example, work on their laptops undisturbed. WiFi service is offered throughout the train, and a clear, state-of-the-art passenger information system is provided on ceiling-mounted displays and other screens. Passenger comfort is further enhanced by an interior lighting concept that automatically adjusts to the time of day. Both the light colour and the temperature of the compartments can be individually adjusted.

The new double seats are equipped with folding centre armrests, allowing them to be converted into a small sofa if capacity is available. Each seat row is also equipped with three charging options: a USB port, wireless NFC charging, and a 230-volt power outlet. Luggage can be stored securely and unattended in spaces accessed via NFC or individual numerical codes.

For passengers with limited mobility, the train has three wheelchair spaces and barrier-free access via a platform-level, extra-wide entrance in the multifunctional car. Space for storing skis and snowboards is available in the multifunctional car as well, along with six bicycle spaces.