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Fast Ligh Innovative Regional Transit EMUs are the bestseller products for the Stadler Rail AG. The design has conquered most European countries in use for local trains market for it's great modularity and advanced features. 
Stadler Rail AG * Introduction to Flirt EMU * Technical Information * Customers

 The Company   
Stadler Rail AG has grown agressively from the humble but very innovative Swiss component company to a multinational rail manufacturer providing railroad rolling stock and their services to its customers. According to the company there are 8 manufacturing and service operations centers: Bussnang, Altenrhein, Winterthur (Switzerland), Berlin (Germany), Siedlce (Poland), Pusztaszabolcs, Szolnok (Hungary) and Algiers (Algeria). While the beginnings saw many products from the drawing board of engineer rather than a designer, the real success started with combining these two in Flirt design. While Flirt design is meant for the electric design, the compny also manufactures a highly monular GTW 2/6 ansd GTW 2/8 trains for the diesel and multienergy source environments. 

Junakalusto Sm5 number 01 in Snowy Kerava FinlandThe Finnish version of the Flirt train (M+2+M) has been found very durable to the winter conditions. These trains also for the first time show the 3,2 meters wide  design, allowing much more room inside for the passengers. This is enabled by the advanced loading gauge of the Finnish railways. Picture by Stanislav Voronin 2010. 

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 The Flirt EMU     
Flirt (Fast Light Innovative regional Transit) is a modular based EMU design always tailored to the customers specific needs. Usually the powered ends of the train and its articulated structure remain the same, as well as the low floor through the train interior, while the side doors, windows and interior accommodations for passengers vary. There are also two to five modules on the typical train unit. In spite of this modularity in many levels, it is easy to imagine many solutions being possible to be transferred from one market of the operators to another and reseller markets will probably appear later as well for such a well designed vehicle. Tnis has happened to many other vehicles and the same phenomenon will be likely to happen to the Flirt EMUs as well, since the critical mass for aftermarket is already there. 

Picture Above: An SBB class 521 of Switzerland four modules Flirt train seen here on the German side of the border.

Customers for the Flirt design worlwide include the following operators and train owners (not a complete listing):

  • Angel Trains Eurobahn, Germany: 25 Flirt EMUs, 4 car configuration, 15 KV AC 16,7 Hz electric system, 1435 mm gauge  
  • Biela Russian Railways: The order was announced at the same time the Estonian order.
  • Deutsche Bahn AG, Germany: 5 EMUs, 5 car, 15kV 16,7 Hz, 1435 mm
  • Elektriraudtee of Estonia, the latest addition to the long customer list. 18 trains in order starting 2013.
  • Masovia Region, Poland: 10 EMUs, 4car, 3000V, 1435 mm 
  • MAV of Hungary
  • Pääkaupunkiseudun Junakalusto Oy, Finland: 32 EMUs, 4 car, 25kV 50Hz, 1524 mm 
  • SBB/CFF, Germany / Switzerland / Italy :
    • S-Bahn Basel (Switzerland): 20 EMUs, 4 car, 15 kV 16,7 Hz, 1435 mm 
    • Stadtbahn Zug (Switzerland): 12 EMUs, 4 car, 15kV 16,7 Hz, 1435 mm     
    • Wiesental (Germany / Switzerland): 10 EMUs, 4 car, 15 kV 16,7 Hz, 1435 mm  
  • Silesia Region, Poland: 4 EMUs, 4 car, 3000V DC, 1435 mm
  • Sistemi Teritoriali (ST), Italy: 2 EMUs, 4 car, 3000V DC, 1435 mm 
  • SNTF, Algeria: 64 EMUs, 4 car, 25 kV 50 Hz, 1435 mm  
  • List to be continued soon.  

Shiny new paint covers the brand new Finnish Flirt unit number 01 of the Junakalusto at the end of the year 2008. Here the unit is seen inside the service building in Helsinki providing a shelter from the harsh Finnish winter weather.
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 Flirt Technical Information 
There are currently around 800 Flirt EMUs either in use or in orders from Stadler Rail. This makes the type one of the most successfull in Europe and Africa. Interestingly the type has been a great success even among the smaller train owners / operators providing chance for new types organizating the rail traffic outside the huge national railroad companies.   

Type: Flirt (Fast Light Innovative Regional Transit), modular EMU  
Usage: Local and regional transit, some intercity transit on shorter distances  
Builder: Stadler
Rail AG     
Production dates: 2002 - current
Numbers built or ordered: over 800 

Gauge: almost 100% on normal gauge 1435 mm, Finnish version 1524 mm (5 ft) gauge, Estonian version 1520 mm gauge   
Users: Tens of train owners / operators in Europe and Africa.

Possibly seen in: Europe and North Africa
Energy Source: 1500V DC, 3000V DC, 15 kV 16,7 Hz, 25kV 50 Hz or any customer specified energy source     
Power output for typical 4 unit EMU: 2000 kW continuous          
Traction motors: in the front and rear bogies, except on the 2 unit train when the other end is a driving trailer. 
Tractive Effort (4 cars): 200 kN  
Wheel arrangement: Bo'2'2'2'Bo'  (Bo'2'Bo' - Bo'2'2'2'2'Bo')  

Maximum operational speed: typically 160 km/h, in Poland 120 km/h

Length (4 cars typical): 74 - 75 meters      
Heigth: 4,1 - 4,4  m
Width: 2880 mm, Finnish variant 3200 mm 
Weight: 120 - 132 metric tons   
Axle weight max: up to 18,5 tons

Here the Flirt class Sm5 number 01 is seen on the test drive in Kerava early 2009. The attractive white-gray-blue-green livery is a welcome alternative to the VR-Yhtymas all red and white newer paint schemes. The VR-Yhtyma huge Sm4 by Bombardier / CAF / Fiat gives a good estimate on the size of the new Flirt train.   


This picture was taken on PKJs Finnish class Sm5 test run in Tikkurila, near Helsinki Finland. On the picture aboce the Flirt train is preparing to leave nort towards Kerava. Harsh Finnish winter weather provides a great test for any new train unit! When operation is possible in winter conditions, other weather types should not provide any obstacles for operations.

Picture above and 2 below: The driving pulpet of the Flirt train provides everything well designed for the reach of the driver as well as a huge amount of information accessible through the computers should there be need to use this. The EKE marked device above is the Finnish train control system manufactured currently by the EKE engineering. This is an obligatory equipment, since Finland has not yet been able to invest to cover even the most used railsections with the European standard ETCS system. 

The typical inside views to the roomy passenger compartment of the Flirt train. The doors in this case are provided with heat curtains which keep the warm air from flowing out when the train is stopping in the cold weather.

Info panels and audio systems provide passengers with sufficient information of the current route. You can also check the outside temperature and the speed among other variables.  

Above is one of the most published pictures of a Flirt train in the professional railroad magazines. The picture was taken by Stanislav Voronin in kerava during the trial runs for the PKJs EMUs. You might also be interested in other pictures by Stanislav on his Winter Visions Page. For publishing permissions on any picture, please contact us by our info form.    
The Sm5 unit seen from above

Junakalusto Sm5 number 01 in Snowy Kerava Finland


More pictures and information will follow later! 


Created for by John McKey. Pictures by Ilkka Siissalo, Stanislav Voronin and Photo Ranger.

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Sources:, Ilkka Siissalo, the net, Pääkaupunkiseudun Junakalusto, Stadler Rail AG, Todays railways Internetional, La vie du Rail, ...    
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© Railroad Reference 2004 - 2010  -  Created 15.3.2009  John McKey, Updated 14.5.2010