SBB and Alstom have reached an agreement: Alstom will compensate SBB for the delayed delivery of the long-distance double-deck fleet with a variety of services, roughly equating to the price of six long-distance double-deck trains. The cooperation will proceed: SBB and Alstom continue to work on further optimising the long-distance double-deck trains. Today, these trains make up one of SBB’s most reliable fleets and form the backbone of long-distance traffic in Switzerland.
In summer 2022, SBB accepted the 62nd and therefore last of the long-distance double-deck trains from Alstom – an entire year and a half after the project was taken over from Bombardier. The insufficient reliability of the fleet in the beginning has been steadily improved since 2018. Alstom made a strong effort to further reduce disruptions after the acquisition of Bombardier Transportation in 2021. This commitment has been paying off for rail customers, as disruptions now only occur every 15,000 to 20,000 kilometres travelled by one of these trains. This is above the average for the rest of the SBB passenger fleet. Train cancellations for long-distance double-deck trains are also now at the same level as for the existing fleet. For this reason, the long-distance double-deck train now forms the reliable backbone of long-distance traffic in Switzerland.
SBB and Alstom agree on compensation package
Nonetheless, SBB and Alstom will continue to work on further optimising the trains in the future. For its contribution to the repeated delays in the delivery of the long-distance double-deck fleet, Alstom has agreed to pay a compensation package, which is roughly equivalent to the value of six trains. Among other things, Alstom will ensure the maintenance of the trains beyond the period agreed upon in the contract. The company will also ensure the delivery of spare parts needed in coming years. Furthermore, Alstom will continue to invest in the optimisation of travel comfort and help support the training of SBB staff by supplying and supervising simulators. SBB and Alstom have reached a mutual understanding on these contributions outside of court. The corresponding agreement was signed by SBB and Alstom on 3 March 2023. SBB and Alstom have agreed not to disclose any further details.
Customers to benefit directly from agreement
In 2014, SBB had already reached an agreement with Bombardier as part of a new delivery plan stipulating that SBB would receive three additional trains as compensation – free of charge. The introduction of a new train is always a challenge and has led to limitations in previous fleets too. The long-distance double-deck train project also experienced a long delay. However, both SBB and Alstom believe that this procurement project is now set to finish on a strong note. Rail customers will benefit from the agreement that has been reached, as the long-distance double-deck train will be even more reliable and comfortable.