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NSB Bm75 number 507 in Oslo, Norway

Sydostbahn Flirt train at Wädenswil

The Junakalusto Sm5 coupling, Helsinki, Finland

Arriva Gtw2/8 multiple unit stopping at Groningen Holland

Rolling Stock Manufacturer - Stadler Rail AG

The Swiss Stadler Rail Group, with its 13 sites in Bussnang, Altenrhein, Winterthur (Switzerland), Berlin (Germany), Siedlce (Poland), Pusztaszabolcs, Szolnok (Hungary), Czech Republic (Prague), Italy (Meran), Algiers (Algeria) and Minsk (Belarus), Valencia (Spain), USA, is currently focusing mostly to passenger rail segments. For high speed segment company is building a large fleet of EC250 "Giruno" trains for entry customer SBB of Switzerland. For medium distance segment company offers custom tailored FLIRT and KISS variants. For regional and local traffic segments FLIRT is most popular, but double decked KISSes have also gained ground there now. Modular GTW concept DMUs are not to be forgotten here either. Narrow gauge mountain railways today rely on Stadler vehicles too. In addition, company still builds both electric and electric-hybrid locomotives to customer needs, as well as sometimes necessary rack equipment locomotives.

Stadler Rail has positioned itself as a supplier complementing the global rail vehicle builders such as Alstom, Bombardier, and Siemens. Thœe company independence and always successful sales seem to be an important basic strategic value for them.

In 1942 Ernst Stadler founded the Stadler Engineering Office which later became Stadler Rail. Today Stadler Rail Group employs over 6000 people in a total. 3000 of them are based in Switzerland and around 1200 in Germany. In 2013 the consolidated turnover reached 2,5 billion Euros a result of aggressive growth policy. In 2005, the company achieved a total turnover in excess of Euro 500 million, reaching a size at which its current owner decided to look for an equity partner to broaden the company's shareholder base. The partnership between the entrepreneur and sole shareholder Peter Spuhler and Capvis opened a range of strategic options to the company. Capvis, the leading Swiss private equity firm, acquired a 20% stake in Stadler Rail Group from current owner and CEO Peter Spuhler.

Created for John McKey. Pictures by Ilkka and Sanna Siissalo, Peider SwissTrip, Hannu Peltola, Andreas Ehnberg and John McKey.

Also on ManufacturersA drawing of the Velaro-D DB class 407 in use arriving at station Manufacturers Main page gives you access to tens of rolling stock or component manufacturers around the world.

Railjet in AustriaSiemens AG Mobility page provides knowledge of many state of the art Siemens manufactured EMUs and Locomotives.

BLS brand new class 486 loco number 503 with mixed freight in Effingen, SwitzerlandBombardier is a worldwide manufacturer of railroad rolling stock for heavy professional uses. Famous product lines include TRAXX, Regina, Zefiro, ...

Stadler Rolling Stock Manufacturing

The main Stadler Rail Group activity focuses on regional and suburban traffic, light S-rail traffic and the trams sectors. Production is tailored to customer needs and locations often picked near hte customer.

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Stadler Rail EC250 "BeNe" high speed train for SBB of Switzerland

Stadler Rail High Speed Trains
A new and interesting sector for Stadler Rail will be the high speed trains starting in 2016. Starting point will be quite demanding application of the very first true low floored hig speed EC 250 train for the SBB. Operator will run a fleet of these trains on international routes between Switzerland and Italy. Part of the route will exploit the new long Gotthard Base tunnel, where the traina achieve their maximum speed of 240 km/h (155 mph). Expect Stadler Rail to gain quickly visibility on high speed trains arena!

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RhB ABe 4/16 number 3103 at Thusis, Switzerland

Stadler Trains for Mountain Climbing
Stadler Rail, being a Swiss company, also manufactures vehicles to conquer mountains. Most of these have recently come in a form of EMU, with locomotive powers to pull normal coaches or freight cars behind it when need be. Others are locomotives in a format dictated by task. Traditions for this most demanding engineering category of vehicles spans back to a year 1942.

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SBB Eem923 electrodiesel hybrid in Berlin, Germany

SBB Ee number 006 in Basel, Switzerland

Stadler Rail Locomotives

In addition to its respectable line of EMUs and DMUs Stadler manufactures many other vehicles for rail use too. Some time ago the new Swiss switcher / road switcher locomotives have received a lot of positive publicity. When travelling earlier in Switzerland you quickly started noticing many little electric or diesel locomotives on the sidings of stations. These were for the most part replaced with modern electric and hybrid (electric + diesel) locomotives.

Picking as an example the Swiiss Railways SBB now operates a fleet of class Ee 922 electric and Eem 923 electric-diesel hybrid locomotives for Switching. These locomotives are quite innovative and forward looking. They replaced a much larger number of old electric and diesel locomotives stationed at Swiss stations, which proved to be very expensive to maintain.

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Rack types for nountain rail use, Switzerland

Rack Railway Equipment
Stadler Rail AG is also quite large rack railway equipment manufacturer. There are specially engineered rail vehicles, often looking like other narrow gauge trains, but utilize rack system typically under the vehicles to add friction when climbing or descending demanding mountain slopes.


Stadler Rail Trams
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  Stadler Rail Multiple Units
Sydostbahn Flirt train at Wädenswil

Starting from a talented railroad engineering works, Stadler Rail has grown rapidly in the latest years. Partly this is due to its approach to tailor its products to any customer needs, but also partly because it is agressiveely looking for new customers through sales and marketing. Stadler has actually been so successful player that it has even replaced former large builder Alstom on many markets.

Train sets which are called FLIRT, KISS, GTW2/6 and GTW 2/8 are both cheaper and technically much more advanced than the offering of the French company. Currently Stadler is by volume the third largest manufacturer after Siemens and Bombardier.



 Stadler Rail High Speed Multiple Units
Stadler EC250 on SBB Bene design, Switzerland

With several decades of railroad rolling stock design and manufacturing Stadler Rail has now set itself a new goal: to design a state of the art low floored electric multiple unit to high speed class of up to 249 km/h (155 mph). To enter the competition it has created an EC250 "Giruno" (buzzard) design for its most demanding customer SBB of Switzerland. Other companies are to follow after the initial delivery.

First SBB "Girunos" (of so far unknown class) will start testing some time in 2016 and we will watch them closely.

From 2017 SBB will use the new EC250 high speed sets on Gothard route between Swiss cities and Milan on the Italian side. Units will run with their top speed through the 2015 opened Gotthard base tunnel, longest traffic tunnel in the World.



 Flirt Electric and Diesel Multiple Unit (FLIRT = Fast Light Innovative Regional Train)
Stadler Flirt3 EMU for Serbia, Innotrans 2014, Berlin, Germany Elektriraudtee Flirt EMU 1406 at Baltijaam, Tallinn, Estonia

NSB Bm75 number 507 in Oslo, Norway

Junakalusto Sm5 number 01 in Snowy Kerava Finland

Elektriraudtee Flirt DMU at Baltijaam, Tallinn, Estonia

SBB Flirt class 523 in beautiful mountain landscape in Steinen, Switzerland

NSB Bm74 number 503 and SBB class 522 number 202 in Rorschach, Switzerland

Flirt EMU

The Fast Light Innovative Regional Train is a huge success story. With its ability to tailor solutions to any market Stadler has been able to penetrate new markets efficiently with this product. While Flirt is not the most sophisticated and comfortable train around, it always work technically well. So far well well over 1000 Flirt EMUs have been sold, and more keep appearing from the Stadler Rail manufacturing line.

Flirt has been around so long that currently there seems to be three differenct design models / generations around:

  • FLIRT 1: The original rounded nose slightly wedged Flirt shape we are accustomed to see. Although these trains look the same, they actually are quite different in detail. For example, the Swiss model might be 2,8 meters wide whiel the Estonian Flirt 1 is 3,5 meters wide. Still the general appearance is one and the same.
    Recognition: Look at the picture of orange colored EMU above. This has a typical nose cone of FLIRT1. Many others are slightly narrower in loading gage and windshield looks, but all the same they are part of the great family of this popular train type.
  • FLIRT 2 followed shortly after FLIRT1 with a newly designed frontal appearence and often slightly rounded side structures. These trains involve a newly developed crash resistant ends being in conformation with the new European norms. FLIRT2 is not used by Stadler themselves, buit clearly this EMU type exists.
    Recognition: Picture on the left shown a Norwegian FLIRT2 with a red end. While the facelift from oroginla FLIRT1 is obvious, the style change to FLIRT3 is clear too (see top left).
  • FLIRT 3 is the latest version of highly popular Stadler Rail EMU line. The Serbian FLIRT3 train can be seen top left with a sticker "The 1000th Flirt sold!" (though number 1000 actually will bo to Finnish metropolitan area). Definitely the newest design can also be recognized as part of the family!
    : while this design is a typical nondesript modern EMU only now, looka t the pointed designs of the nose section. Also, the components back from the nose now seem to be very similar to standard FLIRT1 design.

Flirt EMUs are or will shortly be operated in the majority of European countries, excluding Norway, Sweden, Finland, Estonia and Latvia.

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  Estonia with its huge Russian loading gauge has by far the largest FLIRT (version 1) trains in use. The width of these is 3,5 meters, making the insides of passenger compartments look totally huge! There are several different module lengths of FLIRT EMUs and FLIRT DMUs in use. This ELRON operated train is seen in Tallinn during the initila startup period for traffic.

   Norway has a sizable fleet of FLIRT2 EMUs, both for regional and local traffic. Here the regional class Bm75 EMU of NSB is seen at Oslo central station. Look at the slightly rounded lower edge of windshield and rounded lower section of sides to spot version 2 FLIRT here. Picture by Ilkka Siissalo.

    Dashing through the snow this Junakalusto Oy FLIRT1 EMU is seen flying past while preparing to stop for its end station in Kerava, Southern Finland. Flying snow is no obstacle for the new FLIRT trains in Finland, the trains actually are built to withstands the rigors of poor weather, which makes operating them easier than ever before has happened with any train type here. Picture by Stanislav Voronin.

  Stadler FLIRT1 EMU of SBB (class 523) is seen in the gorgeous Alpine scenery over the fields of Steinen, Switzerland. Picture by Peider SwissTrip.

  Two generations, FLIRT1 of SBB (class 522) and FLIRT2 of NSB (class Bm74) meet during the test drives before delivery to customers. Rorschach, Switzerland. Picture by Peider Swiss Trip.

  Inside a Finnish Junakalusto FLIRT1 looks are very basic,but materials durable and possible to keep clean. Picture by Andreas Ehnberg.


Inside Junakalusto Sm5, Finland

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 KISS Electric Multiple Units (KISS = Komfortabler, Innovativer, Spurtstarker S-Bahn-Zug)

BLS class 515 KISS EMU, Berlin, Germany

Weatbahn "Kiss" EMU for use in Austria, seen at Erlen, Switzerland

BLS class 515 number 002 at Erlen, Switzerland

BLS class 515 number 002 at Erlen, Switzerland

ODEG class ET445 KISS EMU, Berlin, Germany

After Stadler had secured its strong presense on single level low floored European market with FLIRT EMUs, it was turn to introduce KISS for large volume transportation. The KISS ("Komfortabler, Innovativer, Spurtstarker S-Bahn-Zug" = Comfortable Innovative Sprinter for Local Traffic) is also low floored and found today on numerous larger cities in Europe including Berlin, Luzern, Zürich and even for Aeroexpress in Moscow.

  More on Stadler KISS and DOSTO EMUs...

SBB class 511 Dosto EMU number 102 at Erlen, Switzerland

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 GTW 2/6 and GTW 2/8 Light Electric and Diesel Multiple Units

BLS RABe 526 GTWs in Luzern, Switzerland

BLS RABe 526 GTWs in Luzern, Switzerland

Seetalbahn GTW2/8

SBB Thurbo RABe 526 GTWs at Rüti, Switzerland

BLS RABe 526 GTWs in Luzern, Switzerland

Ingenious designs for lighter rail needs
Stadler Rail GTWs are a product with ingenious engineering combined with unmatched modularity. GTWs are built around power pack that also provides traction for unit. Around it are two driving trailers and possibly one coach module depending on the configuration. Both GTW 2/6 (Swis designation for 6 axles, 2 powered) and GTW 2/8 (8 axles, 2 powered) are relatively common models. You can find GTWs both in many countries of Europe and in the North America.

   SBB GTW meets BLS owned GTW under arches of Liuzern station. Luzern is extremely busy station right in the middle of Switzerland. Pictures by Andreas Ehnberg.

Two BLS class RABe 526 GTW EMUs kiss in Luzern. This shows the typical form of these multiple units, and their close relation to larger cousin FLIRT1.

  Power module is well visible here. These can be found in both electric and diesel variants, though not in the same unit. Picture by Andreas Ehnberg.

  Swiss/SBB "Seetalbahn" class 520 GTW 2/8 is making a stop to pick up passengers at Lenzburg, Switzerland. Picture by Ilkka Siissalo.

   Another SBB "Thurbo" GTW 2/8 seen slowing down at Rüti, Switzerland. Picture by Andreas Ehnberg.





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  Stadler Rail Locomotives

CargoNet class 312 in Bodö, Norway

SBB Ee number 006 in Basel, Switzerland

SBB electro-diesel class 923 switcher number 025 in Thun, Switzerland

CargoNet class 312 inn the mountains, Norway

Late 2015 acquired Vossloh Espana facility in Valencia. This will boost both needed Spanish manufactuing capacity (to sell units for use in Spain) and add simultaneously much needed larger locomotive manufacturing know how and relations. Stadler Spanish plant is responsible for most of the six axle diesel-electric built for Europe. It is also well integrated to Stadler traditional hybrid -electric+diesel product line.

Before the acquisition Stradler had manufactured recently the new Swiss switcher / road switcher and rack locomotives have received a lot of positive publicity. When travelling in Switzerland you quickly start noticing many little electric or diesel locomotives on the sidings of stations. Many of these are now being replaced with modern electric and hybrid (electric+diesel) locomotives.

Ee 922 and Eem 923
The new locomotives of Swiss class Ee 922 (dual electric 15kV 16,7 Hz and 25kV 50Hz) and Eem 923 (hybrid dual electric and diesel) are in fact quite powerful despite the fact that they look little. SBB's passenger division has been delivered 21 units of Ee 922 and SBB Cargo 30 Eem 923 for switching and the "last mile".

Ee 922 power is 612 kW (820 hp) and tractive effort 120 kN (27'000 lbf), enough for SBB coach switching need on mostly level ground. Eem 923 is much more powerful with 1500 kW (2010 hp) electric power and 360 kW (485 hp) diesel power. The kNs Eem 923 can produce are still near its little brother: 150 kN (33'720 lbf).

Ee 922 switchers are also equipped with HEP for switching and heating passenger coaches and radio equipment for remote operation and can work in multiple. With a top speed of 100 km/h or 120 km/h and electric brakes with regenerative braking (dynamic braking that feeds electricity back to networks) they can also be useful in light work on main lines if need arises.


   CargoNet class 312 is one of the numerous Stadler six axle diesel-electrics manufactured in Spain. Here the locomotive is seen at the extremes of Norwegian main rail network in Bodø, Norway. It will shortly haul a combined intermodal and auto carrier train back south.

  CargoNet class 312 is seen here heading south from Bodø over the 500 meter high and extremely windy mountain plateau. Conditions are harsh, yet the big diesel is quite at home this far north too.

   A brand new SBB class Ee locomotive is doing switching at Basel station in Switzerland. Look at the spacious cab with an excellent visibility outside. Every detail of the locomotive has been thought carefully. A clear sign how Stadler Rail excels providing solutions to its customers!

  Another new SBB Eem 923 seen in Thun, Switzerland between assignments. It is quite hard to guess fromt he looks that Eem 923 is actually almost twice as powerful as its all electric brother Ee 922. Picture by Andreas Ehnberg.

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  Stadler Built Trams
  Interesting speacialty and also novelty for the company have been trams and tram trains delivered throughout Europe.

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  Other Manufacturers
A drawing of the Velaro-D DB class 407 in use arriving at station Manufacturers Main page gives you access to tens of rolling stock or component manufacturers around the world. Railjet in AustriaSiemens AG Mobility page provides knowledge of many state of the art Siemens manufactured EMUs and Locomotives. BLS brand new class 486 loco number 503 with mixed freight in Effingen, SwitzerlandBombardier is a worldwide manufacturer of railroad rolling stock for heavy professional uses. Famous product lines include TRAXX, Regina, Zefiro, ...

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© Railroad Reference 2004 - 2016   -   Created 1.1.2012 John McKey, Updated 4.1.2016