Swiss train order faces two-year delay

Swiss Federal Railways (SBB) has confirmed that the arrival of 59 new double-deck trains will be delayed by two years.

The company made the announcement today (February 3), revising the original delivery date of December 2013 to 2016.

SBB placed a CHF 1.9 billion order for a new fleet of long distance trains with Bombardier in 2010, which included an option for 100 more sets.

Switzerland’s national rail operator has now said that it is not likely to see the first of 436 new cars before 2016, following talks with Bombardier.

In a statement, SBB said: “The penalties for failure to deliver are part of the contract between Bombardier and the SBB. In view of the magnitude of the delay in delivery and the associated penalties, as in such projects usual, lengthy disputes expected, to which the SBB prepared accordingly.”

SBB said that both companies will “do everything to be able to use the trains as soon as possible”, but suggested that the taxpayer would have to cover any losses that could not be recouped.

There was some goods news from SBB, however, as the operator announced plans to award a separate contract for 29 trains in May 2014.

The new trains will operate north-south services, meeting the predicted demand created by the commissioning of the Gotthard and Ceneri Base Tunnel.