- Siemens starts Rhine-Ruhr Express test program
- Digitized train technology
- Service planned beginning in late 2018
Siemens presented the first prototype of the Rhine-Ruhr Express (RRX) today. The testing of the multiple-unit electric train will now begin at the Siemens Test and Validation Center (PCW) in Wegberg-Wildenrath. All seven pre-series trains will be commissioned at the PCW and complete extensive tests in the coming months before undertaking their first test runs in the public railway network. The RRX is scheduled to enter service in the greater Rhine-Ruhr region at the end of 2018.
“The start of tests at the PCW shows that we’re right on schedule with the RRX project. We’re testing here whether the trains are fit for their daily service in and between the cities in North Rhine-Westphalia. Each train of the entire RRX fleet will be commissioned right here, virtually on the doorstep of the public rail network,” said Sabrina Soussan, CEO of Siemens’ business with high-speed and regional trains and locomotives.
Siemens was commissioned in March 2015 by the special-purpose associations Nahverkehr Rheinland (NVR), Nahverkehr Westfalen-Lippe (NWL), Schienenpersonennahverkehr Rheinland-Pfalz Nord (SPNV-Nord), the Verkehrsverbund Rhein-Ruhr (VRR) and the Nordhessischer Verkehrsverbund (NVV) to deliver 82 multiple-unit electric Desiro HC trains and provide their maintenance for a period of 32 years. The order has a total volume of over €1.7 billion.
Siemens has developed a new design for the RRX fleet based on the successful Desiro platform. The train’s concept combines premium features with state-of-the-art technology. Each train consists of four cars; the first and last as end car and driving trailer have one passenger deck, while the two middle cars are double-deckers. Each train has a seating capacity of 400. The trains are designed in a white, grey, black and orange color scheme. The design of the RRX continues into the interior, where generous sight lines and large windows provide a pleasant atmosphere. In addition, the RRX has Wi-Fi access and socket outlets throughout the train, folding tables and reading lights in first-class, as well as advanced information systems and energy-efficient traction units and air-conditioning.
The trains not only offer excellent passenger comfort, but optimal availability throughout their lifecycle. Modern data communication provides a continuous dialogue between the trains and their service facility. As part of the predictive maintenance concept, potential technical faults can be rectified before they actually occur. By taking over the lifecycle service and maintenance of the RRX, Siemens guarantees over 99-percent availability for scheduled operation. With a top speed of 160 km/h and a driver assistance system for look-ahead braking and acceleration, the RRX will ensure optimal traffic flows on heavily traveled routes in the Rhine-Ruhr region.