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Transportation Systems

Desiro RABe 514 Double-Deck EMU

for Swiss Federal Railways (SBB)
In February 2003, Swiss Federal Railways
(SBB) placed an order for new suburban
S-Bahn trains with Siemens Switzerland.
In order to achieve higher passenger
capacity, the decision was made to buy
double-deck electric multiple units with
4 cars instead of the known push-pull
trains hauled by a Class Re450 locomo-
tive. The overall length remained the
same, thus ensuring variable use of both
train compositions in mixed operation.
These multiple-unit trains incorporate the
latest developments in suburban rapid
transit service. At 600 mm above the top
of rail, the entrances offer passengers
easy boarding and exiting at Perron P55
type platforms. Passengers with restricted
mobility will appreciate the barrier-free
access and the handicap toilet provided
in one of the intermediate cars. All cars
are fully air-conditioned. A high degree of
reliability is achieved by a sophisticated
redundancy concept not only for the trac-
tion and power supply systems but also
in the area of vehicle control.
This new generation of train will enable
SBB to meet the rising needs of Zurichs
combined transit network (ZVV), which
is growing as the result of line extensions
and the compression of headways
(3rd extension).
Technical Data
Class RABe 514
Number of trainsets ordered 35
Cars per train 4
Gauge 1435 mm
Power supply 15 kV AC 16 2/3 Hz
Rated power 3.2 MW
Max. acceleration 1.1 m/s
Train length 100 m
Entry height 600 mm
Number of seats 378 (74 1st class) +
padded supports for standees
Weight 218 t
Maximum speed 140 km/h
Passengers are kept informed via loud-
speakers and displays in the form of LED
matrix panels and LCD screens.
One air-conditioning unit per end car and
two per intermediate car maintain a com-
fortable interior climate in winter and
summer. Distribution of the conditioned
air is adapted accordingly for cooling or
heating mode.
The swing-plug-sliding doors have two
door leaves to create a clear width of
1400 mm when open, thus enabling
quick boarding and exiting by passengers
and therefore shorter dwell times for
trains. The entrances are only 600 mm
above the top of rail (t.o.r.), permitting
virtually no-step boarding from Perron
55 type platforms which are 550 mm
above t.o.r.
An additional sliding step minimizes the
gap between vehicle and platform.
Two different types of bogie are used.
They are derived from the bogies being
used for German Rails ICE high-speed
intercity trains. Both types have steel coil
springs for primary suspension and air
springs for secondary suspension.
The SF 400 type trailer bogies are tted
with 3 axle-mounted disc brakes and
magnetic track brakes. The SF 500 type
power bogies carry the drives, of course,
and are equipped with wheel-cheek disk
Train concept
Each double-deck electric multiple unit
(EMU) consists of 4 cars connected by
semi-permanent couplers to form one
operational unit. Four of these units can
be coupled together to form a full-length
train and can also be used in mixed oper-
ation with the existing Re450-hauled
stock (but limited to triple running due
to restrictions relating to the Re450).
All axles of the two end cars are driven.
Most of the equipment for the traction,
the on-board power supply and the pas-
senger facilities is distributed symmetri-
cally over length of the unit, while vital
systems are duplicated on board in order
to ensure redundancy.
Car body
The car bodies are made of a sectional
steel frame covered with steel panels,
which not only serve as paneling but also
play a role in the statics of the bodyshell.
The joints are spot-welded wherever pos-
To ensure the best possible protection for
passengers and personnel in the event
of a collision, the structure incorporates
special energy absorbing devices. The
body makes full use of the Swiss EBV spe-
cial clearance gauge to obtain maximum
space for passenger accommodation.
The end section of the car body is made
of a berglass-reinforced plastic (FRP)
sandwich element that is partly support-
ed by a steel underframe. The FRP ele-
ment is joined to the steel car body by
means of a permanent-elastic adhesive.
The interior of both 1st and 2nd class sec-
tions satises discriminating tastes and
offers a high level of comfort.
Wall-to-wall carpeting, copious legroom,
specially upholstered seats and additional
furnishings add luxury to the 1st class
area and set it apart from the 2nd class
sections. The seat spacing (in a facing
arrangement) is a comfortable 1700 mm,
even 2000 mm in 1st class. The oor is
carpeted in 1st class. Both classes feature
2+2 seating arrangements, with the seats
mounted on cantilevers to ensure easy
access for the cleaning staff.
Depending on the design requirements,
either FRP or metal sheeting is used for
the wall panels. The air outlets for heat-
ing, ventilation and air conditioning are
installed in these panels. On the lower
and upper decks, luggage racks can ac-
commodate small baggage items, while
larger bags can be stowed between the
seats. The lighting for each car is inte-
grated in the supports of the luggage
The stairs between the lower deck and
transition area are straight and maximize
the usable stair width; those leading to
the upper deck are slightly curved and
bring passengers into the area affording
maximum headroom.
One intermediate car features a restroom
for the disabled next to separate spaces
reserved for wheelchairs. If these spaces
are not being used, the folding seats here
may be occupied by other passengers.
The second intermediate car contains a
compartment for stowing bicycles.
Trailer bogie
1st class passenger area
Power bogie
The RABe 514 has already been prepared
for the future installation of ETCS and
Power supply
Two single-arm pantographs maintain
contact with the overhead contact line
and feed the four transformers via two
vacuum-type main circuit-breakers. Each
transformer supplies power to one auxil-
iary converter unit (ACU) and one trac-
tion converter.
Traction equipment
The voltage-source inverters produce a
rotating eld with variable voltage and
frequency. The whole inverter is housed
in a compact frame accommodating not
only the IGBTs but also the capacitors and
transformers, etc. The power modules are
water-cooled. The maximum rated power
of one inverter is over 1 MW, although
this is not utilized to the full in this par-
ticular application.
The DC link voltage is controlled as a
function of motor speed and torque and
is max. 1800 V. Two inverters each are
controlled by one traction control unit
(TCU) of the Sibas 32 family.
Each inverter feeds two self-ventilated
motors. The motors are resiliently mount-
ed on the bogie frame and drive the
wheelset via a spiral-toothed coupling
and an axle-mounted gear unit.
On-board power supply
The auxiliary converter units (ACUs), two
of each in a rack, generate a 400 V three-
phase AC system as well as a 110 V DC
Train control
The trains are controlled by the service-
proven Sibas 32 train control units, one
in each end car. If one unit should fail,
the other train control unit takes over
control. They communicate via the train
communication network (TCN), using the
multifunction vehicle bus (MVB) on board.
All other control units such as for traction,
on-board power supply, braking, air con-
ditioning, etc. are integrated into the
control system via the MVB. The bus
structure uses a backbone system, in
which the branches are separated by
repeaters to minimize the effect of bus
When coupled in a trainset for non-mixed
operation, the new RABe 514 multiple
units communicate with each other via
the wire train bus (WTB). In mixed opera-
tion with trains hauled by the Re450, the
latters TMC system is used. Naturally,
diagnostic functions and some other
features are severely restricted in this op-
erating mode. Safety-relevant functions
such as the triggering of quick-acting
braking make use of direct wiring.
Train protection
The multiple units are tted with two
train protection systems customarily
used by main-line Swiss trains: Integra
Signum and ZUB 262 (which also inte-
grates ZUB 121 functions). These systems
permit train operation in all parts of the
railway network.
A vigilance control function monitors the
tness of the driver, who maintains con-
tact with the operations control center
by analog radio.
supply system. They consist of 4QC and
PWM inverter modules, which are directly
air-cooled and are equipped with IGBTs.
The DC link voltage is 650 V, the rated
power per ACU being 70 kVA. Each ACU
is tted with a 12 kW battery charger.
The 230 V AC plugs for cleaning purposes
and for laptops (1st class) are fed by
separate transformers (between two of
the three phases). A failure of the power
circuit in one ACU will not lead to any
restrictions on vehicle operation.
Siemens AG
Transportation Systems
P.O. Box 3240
91050 Erlangen
Printed in Germany / TH 166-060456 199785 / DB 08061.0 / Dispo 21704 c4bs 3901 / Order No. A19100-V800-B745-V2-7600
InterCity, ICE International, ICE, ICE T, ICE TD, and ICE-Sprinter are registered trademarks of German Rail.
Desiro is a registered trademark of Siemens AG.
The information in this document contains general descriptions of the technical options available, which do not always have to be
present in individual cases. The required features should therefore be specied in each individual case at the time of closing the contract.