All the Swiss Federal Railways’ new Bombardier double-decker trains will have to go in for repairs for certain parts to be replaced, it has emerged.This content was published on October 10, 2019 - 11:09
The news of the latest technical problems was broken by Swiss public television SRF, citing internal documents.
At present, 12 out of the 59 Bombardier trains are in operation on a line between Chur (in southeastern Switzerland) and Basel in the northwestern part of the country. The trains were meant to start working the main east-west line St Gallen-Zurich-Bern-Geneva in 2013, but the move was delayed over technical issues.
The Federal Railways documents express concern about the main switches, the lack of replacement parts at Bombardier, and conclude a refit of the whole new fleet is necessary.
Bombardier confirmed that the new trains needed two replacement parts: a relay and a high voltage monitoring unit and that it was working on a solution with the subcontractor.
“Not yet satisfied.”
The Federal Railways did not comment directly on the parts issue, but did make a statement to SRF. “The Federal Railways and Bombardier still need to take measures to make these long-distance double-decker trains more reliable. We are considering the situation across the whole year for scheduled train services. Here we see a positive tendency over the whole year. But the Federal Railways is not yet satisfied [with the situation],” spokesman Raffael Hirt told SRF.
SRF published statistics that showed that the new trains broke down every 3,668 kilometres during the week of September 20, and every 2,241km in mid-August.
The Federal Railways awarded Bombardier a 59-train contract in 2010, worth CHF1.9 billion ($1.86 billion), but the first deliveries were made only in 2018. Amid problems, Bombardier agreed to add three more trains free of charge as compensation.
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