“The trains have been in use for 30 years.”
What are the biggest challenges in compartmentalizing a wagon? Against the critical question of background and inclusion in an aging society, the topic of accessibility is increasingly central. Our answer to this is increasingly low-floor entry solutions, often with additional running boards to safely reduce the gap between the train and the platform. To implement this on the new trains, we first reduced the required technology to the minimum space while retrofitting it on the roofs of the trains. Additionally, it is important to plan for a certain level of future reliability. For example, who would have thought in 2003 that cell phone reception, Wi-Fi and sockets are now a part of our daily lives and passengers are also demanding this convenience on their train journeys? Since trains will be in service for 30 years or more, vehicles built then will be in service for at least another ten years.
In which area can we expect new innovations in the coming years? Due to the liberalization of rail transport and energy costs, trains have to be more efficient and economical than ever before. Further improvement of energy efficiency is therefore a central concern. We see a lot of potential when it comes to lightweight construction: every kilogram of weight that can be saved helps because it proportionally saves the required kinetic energy. Our bionic car system for subway trains takes nature as its model. Simply put, it is structured like the leaves of a tree, but with stronger veins. Our Viennese researchers have successfully implemented this idea in the London subway project; Trains are now built this way. Cross' new lightweight bogie is a world first. It is 40 percent lighter than a conventional chassis and will be used for the first time on ÖBB's new night trains. Both Austrian inventions save raw materials in construction, have fewer wearing parts and help operate railways with lower energy consumption and lower costs.
Will division into 1st and 2nd class continue? Such division will be less and less in the future, so I will talk about dividing the available passenger space into zones. These can be tailored to individual needs and are subject to appropriate game rules. Families with children need a different environment than business travelers. Requirements for a large travel group are also different compared to a solo traveler. As the individuality of travelers increases, so does the number of regions or zones depicted. At Siemens Mobility we can do a lot of things technically; What is important here is good communication between our customers, passenger needs and demands and the technical enabler.