The new Siemens Desiro ML commuter trains are now in passenger service in Vorarlberg, operating between Schruns and Lindau, and from Bregenz and Dornbirn to St Margrethen.
In August 2021, ÖBB concluded a framework agreement with Siemens for a total of 46 Desiro ML series electric multiple units, 21 of which were ordered for local transport in Vorarlberg. By October 2023, all trains in Vorarlberg will be on the tracks.
“Vorarlberg is the first federal state to receive the proven Desiro ML commuter train in the new and state-of-the-art version as a four-car train. Over the next few years, ÖBB will invest a total of more than €4bn in its fleet,” said Sabine Stock, member of the management board of ÖBB-Personenverkehr. “This will create an additional incentive for switching to public transport and inspire even more people to travel or commute by train.”
The new trains carry almost 50% more passengers than the old Talent 1 trainsets and offer more space and modern facilities, such as multifunctional areas, sockets, and USB ports. They can also be adapted depending on the season. In winter, for example, the four-car sets have more rows of seats and ski racks, while in summer the low-floor area of the intermediate car is converted to a bicycle compartment and then has a total of 39 parking spaces available. The conversion work will be carried out successively by ÖBB during the spring.
ÖBB has also officially opened its new workshop in Bludenz, which will undertake regular maintenance of the new trains. This is necessary after around 25,000km (around every two months), according to ÖBB and is carried out in so-called stale situations. This means that the trains are always repaired when they are not needed in operation. In spring, the conversions to the summer layout will also take place here, in which the intermediate cars of the new sets will be converted into a bicycle compartment.
“With the new train sets, the climate-friendly mobility of the future in Vorarlberg is already becoming a reality today,” added Climate Protection Minister Leonore Gewessler.