Stadler EC250

The Stadler EC250, also known as SMILE, short for Schneller Mehrsystemfähiger Innovativer Leichter Expresszug (English: “speedy, multi-system, innovative, lightweight express train”),[1][2] is a high-speed electric multiple unit train under development by Stadler Rail of Switzerland for the Swiss Federal Railways (SBB). According to Stadler Rail, it is to be the world's first single-decker low-floor high-speed train.[3]

ManufacturerStadler Rail
Year(s) of manufacture2017
Axle arrangement2'Bo'Bo'2'2'2'2'Bo'Bo'2'2'2'
Track gauge1435 mm
Length202 m
Height4,255 m
Width2,900 m
Bogie wheelbase2750 mm (motorized bogies)
2700 mm (bogies)
Empty weight380 t
Service weight433 t2 standing room /m2
454 t4 standing room /m2
Top speed250 km/h
Power output (continuous)4720 kW ~, 3920 kW =
Starting tractive effort300 kN
Electric system15 kV / 16,7 Hz ~,
25 kV / 50 Hz ~,
3000 V =
Collection method1450 mm and 1950 mm wide pantographs
No. of traction motors8
Seats117 1st Class
286 2nd Class
4 Wheelchair spaces
Standing places426
Floor height567/765 mm tread
682/880 mm entry area
950 mm wheelchair space
1080-1200 mm high floor area

The 11-car units are to operate with a top speed of 250 km/h (160 mph) and have a length of 200 metres (660 ft); they are to accommodate up to 400 passengers (117-1. class 286-2. class). In 2014, Stadler Rail won a tender to deliver 29 units by 2019 for CHF 980 million (c. USD 1.1 billion), with an option for up to 92 more. The trains are initially intended to replace the ETR610 trains on the transalpine route between Milan and Basel / Zürich.[4]


During October 2014, Stadler received a SFr 980m ($US 1.1bn) contract from the Swiss Federal Railways (SBB) that called for the development, construction and delivery of 29 high-speed EC250 electrical multiple units (EMUs), which included an option for the procurement of an additional 92 trains.[5][6] The losing bidders for the contract included French conglomerate Alstom and Spanish rolling stock manufacturer Talgo.[7] In September 2016, the first EC250 high-speed train was publicly launched at InnoTrans in Berlin, Germany; this launch was presented by Peter Spuhler, Stadler's owner and chief executive officer, and Andreas Meyer, the chief executive officer of SBB.[8][9] The new trains are approved for operation in Switzerland, Germany, Austria and Italy.[10]

Based on the design of the Stadler FLIRT EMUs, the EC250 has been designed to cater to long distance rail journeys.[10] It has been developed with a particular emphasis on providing a high level of both comfort and convenience for passengers, including families, senior citizens and disabled passengers. A low-floor entrance area has been adopted to ease the boarding process, the carriages provide step-free access from platforms at heights between 550mm and 760mm.[10] The train-sets feature a pressure-tight design, which is intended to provide favourable thermal and sound insulation characteristics. The EC250 is designed to comply with the TSI-High-speed regulations as well as to meet the EN 15227 crashworthiness standards.[10]

The EC250 has been developed with a flexible interior.[10] This interior allows for carriages to be extensively refitted and modified in accordance with the requirements of various operators; this reduces the difficulty of maintaining equipment. Carriages offer relatively spacious and well-lit interiors.[10]

The EC250 is equipped with a number of passenger comfort features, including 4G/3G signal boosters for mobile phone, power sockets at all seats, and large overhead luggage racks. The onboard storage areas are designed to be multi-functional, including space for bicycle storage.[10] A number of gender-separated toilets are also scattered amongst the carriages. For accessibility purposes, a number of wheelchair spaces and wheelchair-accessible toilet facilities are present in both the first class and second class carriages.[10][8]

In a standard configuration, each train is to accommodate seating for up to 405 passengers, composing 117 of these being seated in first class conditions and the remaining 288 in second class.[10] It had a length of 202 meters and possess an empty weight of 380 tonnes. Each carriage has a width of 2.9 meters and a height of 4.25 meters; the wheelbase of the unpowered bogies is 2.7 meters, while those of the motorised bogies are 2.75 meters.[10] A pair of trains can be coupled together; in such a configuration, they can seat in excess of 800 passengers.[10]

The propulsion system consists of four motorised bogies, which are supplied with power from four roof-mounted electric current collectors.[10][11] A key element of the arrangement is the advanced traction technology provided by ABB, which ensures a smooth start, relatively quick acceleration and efficient energy regeneration while the train is braking. The electrification systems fitted to the trains are compatible with the Swiss and German 15 kV 16.7 Hz alternating current (AC) overhead power supply, as well as Italian 3 kV direct current (DC) and 25 kV 50 Hz electrification systems.[10] The motorised bogies are reportedly capable of generating a maximum power output of 6,000 kW, as well as the train's maximum operational speed of 250 km/h.[10]


The SBB, which has named the vehicle ‘Giruno’, intends to use its high-speed fleet on the line connecting Basel and Zürich with the Italian city of Milan through the Gotthard Base Tunnel; the SBB has stated that it has forecast passenger numbers on the Gotthard route to rise from around 9000 per day to 15,000 per day by 2020 and to exceed 18,000 passengers per day by 2025.[7] During May 2017, the first train-set was scheduled to be handed over to the SBB, while commercial operations are intended to be launched by the end of 2019.[10] Long-term plans are to run the type upon several international routes.[5]

On 2 July 2017, a Stadler EC250 Giruno trainset travelled through the Gotthard Base Tunnel for the first time; the run was conducted for testing purposes and had reportedly been successful. At the time, further test runs were intended to be undertaken in the Czech Republic, Switzerland, Germany, Italy and Austria, the four countries where the trainsets are intended to be operated in.[12]

In April 2018, SBB Giruno reached 275km/h in the Gotthard Base Tunnel.[13]

On April the 4th of 2019, the Federal Office of Transport authorised the EC250 for travel at 200 Km/h[14].


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