signs contract to build and maintain 52 metro trains for Liverpool City Region
STADLER has signed a transformative
deal with Merseytravel worth up to £700 million to build and maintain 52 metro
trains on the Merseyrail network for the Liverpool City Region from 2020.
Replacing one of the oldest fleets in the UK, the new trains will provide fully
step free access for all passengers, making Merseyrail the most accessible
traditional network in the UK. A new Kirkdale maintenance depot will be entirely
designed, built and operated by Stadler.
The current Merseytravel fleet is one of the oldest in the UK, with an average
age of almost 40 years. This contract will entirely replace the existing fleet,
making it one of the most modern in the country and transforming the passenger
experience. The trains will be able to carry 60% more passengers, while
retaining the same number of seats, and will cut journey times by up to 10%.
The new 4 car trains will all be in service by 2021, with the first unit
arriving for testing by the middle of 2019. The value of the manufacture and
maintenance contracts for the 52 trains is up to £700m and Merseytravel also has
the option to trigger the manufacture of a further 60 vehicles.
The trains will have lower floors, only 960 mm above rail level, and will be
entirely walk through, increasing their capaCity to 486 people (182 seated, 302
standing, and 2 wheelchair users). Strong but lightweight carriages, built
from aluminium extrusions, mean they will be safer and more energy efficient.
The 64.98 metres long and 2.82 metres wide trains will operate on a 750V DC
third rail network with a maximum speed of 75 mph (120 km/h). The units will
also be equipped with batteries that allow independent movement of the units in
the workshop and depot areas. The trains will be able to be retrofitted for 25
kV AC operation and ETCS Level II.
The new vehicles have been designed for the specific needs of customers
travelling on the Merseyrail network, with many features reflecting what people
said they wanted in research done by passenger watchdog Transport Focus in 2013.
Providing a new level of safety, intelligent sliding steps, combined with
infrastructure improvements, will virtually eliminate the gap between the
platform and the train, providing step free access at all entrances. With no
'gap to mind', the new fleet will be highly accessible for all, from wheelchair
users and the elderly, to cyclists and passengers with luggage. Sensitive door
sensors will detect obstructions, while door illuminations will inform
passengers when it is safe to embark and alight.
On board safety will be enhanced by open and airy compartments with no dividing
doors, as well as CCTV and a transparent cabin for the driver. The trains will
have wider aisles, larger vestibules at the doorways, more grab handles, making
the train safer to use for standing passengers too.
All the interior fittings will be damage resistant and the exterior will be
graffiti and spray paint resistant. The driver's cab offers a comfortable
working environment, with enhanced sight lines, an ergonomic desk arrangement and
all of the functionality required for flexible, modern trains.
Through the maintenance contract, Stadler will undertake light and heavy
maintenance of the units throughout their 35 year life cycle. Ensuring the
highest possible availability of trains and the most efficient maintenance
turnaround, Stadler will design, construct and operate a brand new, state of the
art depot at Kirkdale. Stadler will also oversee the maintenance of the existing
fleet, which will be carried out at the current facility in Birkenhead.
Stadler will transfer 155 maintenance workers from Merseyrail into its own
operations, bringing the total number of Stadler employees in the UK to over 200
people by 2019.
Peter Jenelten, Executive Vice President and Head of Marketing & Sales of
Stadler said:- "This contract with Merseytravel marks a very important
milestone for Stadler in the UK. It will bring safer, more comfortable trains
that can carry more people and will help provide the Liverpool City Region with
the metro service it deserves. The UK is a key part of our global strategy
and this contract represents the latest step in our growth here. We have
recently been successful in several high profile tenders, including the
provision of 58 multiple units for the East Anglia franchise and the delivery of
17 metro trains for the Glasgow Subway, and we now look forward to working with
Merseytravel to deliver its new trains on schedule."
Frank Rogers, Chief Executive of Merseytravel said:- "We are very much
looking forward to working with Stadler. The fleet of new trains will provide
the foundations of our City Region's long term rail strategy and we anticipate
our relationship with Stadler developing into a strong, enduring partnership.
Merseyrail is already high performing network and these trains, designed with
local people in mind, will help support that for decades to come. The new trains
will be safer and able to carry more people, more quickly and, when combined
with infrastructure improvements, the new fleet will make Merseyrail the most
accessible traditional network in the UK"
Fact File.... About the Stadler
Established 75 years ago, headquartered in Bussnang, Switzerland and operating
globally with 7,000 employees in 18 countries, Stadler is a system provider of
train manufacturing and maintenance services. Stadler's range of products is
comprehensive. It includes high speed trains, interCity, regional and commuter
trains, trams, tram trains and underground trains. Stadler manufactures dual
mode locomotives, shunting locomotives and passenger carriages, and offers the
most powerful diesel-electric locomotive in Europe. It remains the world's
leading manufacturer of rack and pinion rail vehicles. Stadler's service
division maintains vehicle fleets in 16 countries.
In the UK, Stadler's Variobahn trams operate on the London Tramlink. Its Class
68 diesel locomotive is the most powerful to run in the UK, and the Class 88
dual mode locomotives are used on freight and passenger services. It has
recently been awarded a contract to build electric and bi mode multiple units
for the new East Anglia franchise, part of the largest ever rolling stock
procurement in the history of the UK, and is providing the vehicles for the
Sheffield tram train, the first of its kind in the UK. It is also part of the
consortium supplying a new fleet of trains for the Glasgow Subway.