By the end of 2022, Slovenian Railways plans to expand its passenger fleet by 52 new trains, manufactured by Stadler. The new units will comprise 31 electrical trainsets – 21 single-deck and 10 double-decker EMUs – and 21 single-deck DMUs. At the time of writing, delivery has been completed for five DMUs, with another eleven single-deck EMUs released to service recently. The contract is valued at approximately €320 million, excluding tax.
The new units will play an important role in improving the quality of the passenger services operated by Slovenian Railways. The new trains are characterised by spacious passenger compartments with large windows and a low-floor design with retractable steps, which facilitates barrier-free boarding for persons with reduced mobility and bicycles. They also feature power sockets, easily accessible bicycle, baby stroller and wheelchair spaces, automatic air-conditioning, spacious toilet facilities, wi-fi, and a modern information system available throughout the train. The new trains are also expected to improve connectivity with Austria and Croatia.
Five FLIRT DMUs have been operating since December 2020 and can reach speeds of up to 140 km/h. The first eleven single-deck FLIRT EMUs were delivered on 30 June, and two more FLIRT EMUs will be delivered by the end of the year. These units will run exclusively on electrified lines and will operate during peak hours in suburban areas and areas in which the introduction of additional trains is hampered by infrastructure constraints. They can reach speeds of up to 160 km/h. A total of ten double-decker KISS EMUs will start service in December later this year and will run exclusively on electrified lines. Introducing double-decker trains on the Slovenian network will involve extensive testing, driver and crew training, verifying infrastructure compatibility, and obtaining the authorisation for placing into service.
Modernising Slovenian Railways’ passenger fleet
Ordering 52 new trains marks an important milestone in the process of modernising Slovenian Railways’ passenger services. The new trains will increase the frequency of regional services by reducing the number of stops and deploying trains with greater capacity.
To better integrate micromobility into public transport, the new units have plenty of bicycle spaces, meaning that passengers will be able to take their bicycles with them on 80% of trains in the passenger fleet. In addition, bicycle-sharing options and designated parking facilities for bicycles have been introduced at major train stations and stops.
Thanks to the introduction of these new trains, the recent revamp of the ticketing system, the Park&Ride network, new bicycle parking facilities and electrical car sharing, Slovenian Railways’ passenger services and, by extension, public transport in Slovenia are now well-equipped to tackle future challenges.