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Regina – a success story

Posted: 31 May 2006 | | No comments yet

In 1994 at the KTH (Swedish Royal Institute of Technology) in Stockholm, an interdisciplinary project group was set up to develop the regional rail vehicle concept of the future as part of an overall concept designed to improve the operational efficiency of rail transport services in Sweden.

In 1994 at the KTH (Swedish Royal Institute of Technology) in Stockholm, an interdisciplinary project group was set up to develop the regional rail vehicle concept of the future as part of an overall concept designed to improve the operational efficiency of rail transport services in Sweden.

In 1994 at the KTH (Swedish Royal Institute of Technology) in Stockholm, an interdisciplinary project group was set up to develop the regional rail vehicle concept of the future as part of an overall concept designed to improve the operational efficiency of rail transport services in Sweden.

The initial impetus came from the need to meet the increasing demands of passengers and operators for a more comfortable and more economic vehicle for Sweden’s regional services. In view of the varying levels of passenger volume throughout the day, the operator must be capable of responding with a vehicle that can be deployed flexibly to meet the change in demand. In this respect, the trains should have high acceleration, operate at high cruising speeds and provide high standards of comfort for business travellers. The institute completed its survey in 1996 and submitted its report. The findings indicated that the vehicle should be a multiple unit that could be assembled into flexibly sized units. The use of wider carbodies that would permit a 2+3 seating arrangement would ultimately result in higher carrying capacities.

Bombardier was convinced that this concept had merit and began to develop the train even before receiving a specific order. In December 1998, after the presentation of the first train, the first orders for the new Bombardier Regina regional train were received, and by the start of 2001, the first Regina trains had already entered service with the Västmanland Public Transport Authority.The vehicles were in every respect an immediate success.The increase in passenger numbers that followed was a direct result of the new trains.A survey conducted among passengers showed that the vehicles of the Regina family were seen as modern, attractive and spacious.

The Regina family

The vehicles of the Bombardier Regina family have been operating successfully since January 2001.With a total of 165 cars sold to date, the Regina is one of the most successful rail vehicles on Sweden’s regional and intercity services. The Regina is deployed primarily on regional, interregional and intercity services. The interior design and thus the comfort level of the vehicles can be varied to meet specific operational requirements.All cars are provided with two wide doors on each side, with one car per vehicle equipped with an entrance point at platform level.All existing Regina trains are also provided with an onboard lift that considerably simplifies access to the passenger areas for wheelchair passengers and people with bicycles or children’s prams. The two-car version for regional services, with a 2+3 seating arrangement, has space for up to 180 passengers and is used for journey times of between 30 minutes and one hour. The intercity version, in view of the long journey times, has a very high comfort level. In the three-car version, it can seat 240 passengers and has a 2+2 seating arrangement in 1st class compartments. The most recent additions to the Regina family are the Regina RC (Regional Commuter), the Regina UIC 250 and the version for China, Concept 2008.While the Regina RC has been designed for rapid transit services with short journey times and many stops, the Regina UIC 250 has been developed for speeds of up to 250 km/h. Initial testing of the Regina UIC 250 is currently being carried out in Sweden. The eight-car Regina ‘Concept 2008’ is tailor-made for the requirements of the Chinese market with regard to the interior and exterior design, and is scheduled for delivery between 2006 and 2008. The 40 trains are then to be deployed taking the athletes and visitors quickly and safely6 to their destinations at the 2008 Olympic Games in China. In this version, the vehicles are designed for speeds of up to 200km/h and provide additional seating capacity of up to 25% in the 2nd class compartments.

A train for everyone

Colour contrasting doors and steps leading to the passenger areas, high-contrast passenger information displays and Braille lettering in the toilets are design to make the travelling easier for visually impaired passengers. The Regina’s interior designers have taken allergy aspects into consideration. The use of special upholstery materials minimises the risk of allergies.

Travel comfort

The level of comfort for passengers was and still is one of the most important factors during the development of the Regina family. Clean trains and a pleasant temperature are prerequisites for a high level of passenger comfort.All Regina cars are fully air-conditioned and the wide carbodies convey a sense of spaciousness and well-being. The Regina’s seating arrangement can be modified to meet specific operational requirements. To increase the passenger comfort, some areas are equipped with carpets for enhanced isolation and a high ambience. Spacious luggage racks under the ceiling and a very low noise level inside the cars emphasise the Regina’s high comfort level. In the intercity and interregional versions, all the seats are provided with reading lamps and superior quality material is used in the interior of the 1st class compartments. The Regina’s acceleration from start, due to the excellent propulsion system and the large number of powered axles is very high at 0.8 m/s2. Combined with the short stopping distance, this ultimately leads to an overall reduction in journey times.A bright, fresh and attractive interior provides a pleasant atmosphere in the passenger areas.

Maintenance

The trains of the Regina – family are designed with good economy in mind and low Life Cycle Costs (LCC) throughout their lifetime. Graffiti-resistant surfaces that are easy to clean and litter bins at the seats and in the entrance areas make the Regina a train that is easily kept clean. The modular concept of construction makes adaptations to new and operator specific needs possible. The maintenance of the trains is easy and fast, which results in high availability. The costs for maintenance can also be reduced through the use of interchangeable and modular components.

The Regina family has proven to be a great success and has directly contributed to improved operator efficiency and increased passenger numbers.

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