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National passenger operator DSB has named Alstom as the winner of a contract to supply at least 100 electric multiple-units in 2024-29, saying the order marks an important milestone in the transition to more climate-friendly and sustainable public transport.
Formal award of the contract is subject to final government approval. ‘It is an historic day for DSB and for public transport in Denmark’, said DSB Chairman Peter Schütze when the selection of Alstom was announced on April 12. ‘We can look forward to retiring the ageing diesel-powered trains within a short number of years. In about 3½ years, the first electric trainsets will be delivered, and customers can look forward to more efficient train operations with higher comfort and improved punctuality.’
DSB is expects to order approximately to 150 units in total, and said the order worth more than DKr20bn including maintenance would be largest in its history.
The procurement process got underway in 2014 as part the Future Train rolling stock renewal strategy and was given the go-ahead by the government in 2018. DSB emphasised at the time that it was looking to purchase an established and tested product from an experienced supplier.
This approach incorporated lessons learned from the troubled history of DSB’s AnsaldoBreda IC2 and ICE4 DMU fleets. The two-car ICE2 sets have been withdrawn with some sold to Romanian open access operator Astra Trans Carpatic, while the four-car IC4 sets are expected to be withdrawn as the Alstom EMUs arrive.
The new EMUs will be based on the Alstom Coradia Stream family, which is already in service in Italy and due to enter service in the Netherlands shortly. Alstom will be responsible for maintenance, which will be undertaken at two dedicated depots that DSB is building in Aarhus and København.
The order has been placed as part of the ongoing national 25 kV 50 Hz electrification programme which was launched with the aim of reducing operating costs, improving train performance, increasing reliability and making operations more environmentally-friendly.
‘A new, uniform and electric train fleet requires less maintenance than our current aging diesel trains’, said DSB CEO Flemming Jensen. ‘Today’s decision contributes to greater sustainability for in terms of the environment and climate, but also for DSB’s finances.’ He hoped that the new trains would provide ‘a strong starting point for more Danes to choose the train’, which would mean less pollution and fewer cars on the roads.
This article first appeared on www.railwaygazette.com
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