CZ/SK verze

FV-DOSTO and Giruno units are heading for the track

FV-DOSTO and Giruno units are heading for the track
photo: Railway Gazette international, picture archive/SBB´s train
10 / 05 / 2021

Despite the global coronavirus pandemic, the delivery of Giruno high-speed trains from Stadler Rail as well as bombardier's new FV-DOSTO 502 series electric units continues. Trains are also known as TWINDEXX Express or TWINDEXX Swiss Express. The Swiss Federal Railways (SBB) will deploy modern units on other routes.

The RABe 501 Giruno series is due to be fully delivered in March this year. A total of 29 ordered trains are intended primarily for fast interstate transport. In addition to Switzerland, the units are approved in Italy and since last October also in Germany. Approval in Austria has been delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic and is expected to be completed this spring. The coronavirus also delayed the planned deployment of trains to Italy due to the later acquisition of all documents and staff training.

With Girun to Venice

RABe 501 is now scheduled to operate on the domestic lines IC 2 Zurich - Lugano and IC 21 Basel - Luzern - Lugano, as well as on IR line 36 Basel - Zurich Airport. 

This year's timetable also includes a 13-day interstate tour to Italy, where Giruno units have replaced pendolin's RABe 503 series. They are better known under their Italian name ETR 610. Giruna serves EuroCity trains from Zurich and Basel to Milan, as well as to Bologna, Venice and Genoa. However, epidemic measures may continue to affect interstate traffic this year. Traffic to Germany and Austria is not expected this year, but the approval of trains in these countries also opens up the possibility of their deployment here, for example on the Frankfurt am Main–Milan route.

Giruno trains also do not avoid childhood illnesses and need to be optimally tuned in normal operation. Initially, the average run between two defects was 3 000 km. This increased to 6 000 km at the end of last year and this year the target is 10 000 km.

FV-DOSTO heading to Ticina

In the long term, the situation is more complicated with the project FV-DOSTO, which is intended to significantly increase the capacity of Swiss connections. Despite significant production delays and slow commissioning, which have caused Bombardier to deliver three more eight-car units as penalties to ordered 59 trains, the planned reliability of 10 000 km between the two faults has still not been achieved since December 2018. By November 2020, RABe 502 series FV-DOSTO trains had made a total of 55,000 commercial journeys and traveled 9 million km, yet the run was about 8 500 km between defects.

Despite various complications, the delivery of trains continues, and their action radius expands. Now the SBB has 41 units (17 of the type IC200, 19 of the type IR200 and 5 of the type IR 100) and others are continuously delivered. Their operation on the IC 1 St. Gallen – Zurich – Geneva airport line is increasing, where they operate in double traction and will gradually replace the IC 2000 trains. They are also planned to be deployed on Basel–Zurich–Chur routes and are due to appear on flights from Zurich to Lucerne and south of Switzerland to Lugano later this year. This will be the premiere of the double-decker wagons, because tunnels with a smaller transit profile did not allow the normal operation of double-decker trains on the Gotthard railway.

For RABe 502 FV-DOSTO units, further tests continue, for example in the field of derailment and access of technicians to support points in this operation, and modifications to increase their reliability