Stadler Rail has won the Appenzeller Bahnen (AB) tender for seven Tango light rail vehicles. The trains will be used on the new cross-town link (Durchmesserlinie) connecting Trogen, St. Gallen and Appenzell. The order, which includes a spare parts package, is worth nearly CHF 60 million. By opting for the Tango, AB is backing a vehicle which has already proved its worth in the Basel and Geneva regions. It has a comfortable interior to suit the longer stretches and high tourist potential of the AB lines. The units will be produced at the Stadler works in Altenrhein SG.
The new trains will allow AB to use the same vehicle type on both branches when the new cross-town link opens in autumn 2017. Until this point, the eastern branch from St. Gallen to Trogen is serviced by tram-like trains, with rack-and-pinion trains required for the western branch from St. Gallen to Appenzell. The new line will remove the single rack-and-pinion section. The Tango combines all the benefits of railway vehicles and trams.
High degree of travel comfort
This light rail vehicle has full air suspension on the bogies, making it an extremely comfortable ride. At the same time, it has all the characteristics required for efficient, safe operation of a tram on city-centre routes. The stretch towards Trogen will also feature a first-class section for the first time. This represents clear added value for the line to Trogen. The trains seat 133 in second class and 12 in first class.
The Tango has a very high low-flooring level. There are only slightly raised areas at the end of the half-train for the four engine bogies. All four doors on each side are in the low-floor section to allow barrier-free travel for all. This is a real benefit for passengers with heavy luggage, wheelchair users and those with pushchairs.
By opting for the Tango, AB is backing established technology from Eastern Switzerland. This vehicle has been successfully in service for five years for Basellandtransport (BLT, 38 trains) and Geneva-based transport operator TPG (32 trains). It is very popular among passengers and operators alike. The situation in Basel is at least partly comparable with AB: the BLT trams are operating on the stretch from Barfüsserplatz to Schifflände, right through the centre of the city, on the highest-traffic routes in Switzerland. The same vehicles also travel across very long cross-country routes through the cantons of Basel-Landschaft and Solothurn, as well as brief stretches in France.
The crash concept is a modern solution, which has already proved its worth in a serious scenario at BLT. The design of the front minimises the consequences of an accident and prevents more serious damage. The vehicle has various other modern elements, such as folding steps to bridge the gap on entry, full air conditioning, modern passenger information systems and generous multifunctional compartments.
Source & Photo : Stadler Rail Press Centre