Deutsche Bahn plans double-deck multiple units

Bombardier Transportation and German railway operator Deutsche Bahn (DB) have signed a framework agreement for 800 double-deck coaches that could be worth up to €1.5bn. The new-generation vehicles will be the first to incorporate driven cab cars.

This is the largest framework agreement for vehicles that DB has ever awarded to a single supplier, and will enable it to compete for tenders in the local rail transport market in 2009.

This is the largest framework agreement for vehicles that DB has ever awarded to a single supplier, and will enable it to compete for tenders in the local rail transport market in 2009.

DB CEO Hartmut Mehdorn said: "In particular in these difficult economic times, we have decided to invest in the future. This decision is also intended to communicate an economic message. It will enable us to make outstanding transport bids in the regional transportation market and offer convincing quality. Economical and powerful transportation demands a modern fleet of energy-saving vehicles that can be used in flexible combination with one another."

André Navarri, president of Bombardier Transportation, commented: "The new generation of double-deck coaches is an outstanding example of our continuous product innovation here at Bombardier Transportation. It is now possible to combine double-deck coaches with multiple-unit technology."

The chairman of the Management Board of DB Regio, Ulrich Homburg, underscored the importance of flexible vehicles for economical operations. "For the first time ever, we will have powered double-deck coaches in our fleet. Individual coaches, driving trailers or trailer coaches can be added as well, depending on what the trains are being used for in the respective local transportation networks. In addition, the vehicles are compatible with other generations and will thus create cost benefits in operation," said Homburg.

Since 1994, the year of the German railway reform in which Deutsche Bahn AG was founded, DB has purchased over 1,600 double-deck coaches. DB Regio currently has more than 2,000 double-deck coaches in its fleet. With a 98 per cent reliability rating in operation, the vehicles are said to enjoy great popularity with customers and operators.

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