Vienna U-Bahn Unveils Cutting-edge Siemens X-Wagen Metro Trains
Vienna, Austria – In a groundbreaking development, the Vienna Metro has launched its new Siemens X-Wagen metro trains, marking a significant leap forward in the city’s public transportation system. The state-of-the-art trains, equipped with advanced technology, have commenced passenger service on the U3 line, with plans for eventual driverless automated operation.
After a series of rigorous tests and the acquisition of its operating permit, the first of the third-generation X-Wagen trains initiated service on July 16. Siemens Mobility, the rolling stock manufacturer, is set to deliver ten trains to Wiener Linien, the primary operator of Vienna’s public transport network, by the year’s end. Subsequently, up to three additional X-Wagen metro trains will be handed over annually.
Vienna city councillor for public transport, Peter Hanke, expressed his enthusiasm during the launch event, stating, “This is a great day for Vienna and the Viennese public transport system. The X-Wagen metro is trendsetting for our climate model city. A sophisticated train with state-of-the-art technical solutions included and produced in Vienna makes public transport even more attractive and comfortable.”
The new X-Wagen trains boast a customized passenger information system tailored to Vienna’s specific requirements. Passengers are provided with continually updated information on screens above all doors inside the metro. This innovation is part of a contract signed in September 2017, where Siemens Mobility commits to supplying 34 six-car trainsets to Wiener Linien, along with maintenance for 24 years and an option for an additional 11 trains.
Gudrun Senk, CTO of Wiener Linien, highlighted the modernization aspect, stating, “[The X-Wagen] will replace the Silver Arrow trains and, beginning in 2026, enable fully automated metro operation in Vienna for the first time, on the U5 line.”
The X-Wagen introduces several technological advancements, including a new airless braking system. Controlled by a purely electronic signal, this brake-by-wire system eliminates compressed air components under the carriage, saving weight, and installation space, and reducing costs over the entire life cycle.
Albrecht Neumann, Siemens Mobility rolling stock CEO, commented, “By introducing the X-Wagen metro, the city of Vienna is taking a big leap into the future of digitized transport. Innovations like the new passenger information system with real-time updates and the air-free brake system are making their world debut, and the fully automated operation coming later on the U5 line will provide great benefits.”
Vienna Linien aims for the U5 line between Karlsplatz and Frankhplatz to become Vienna’s first fully automated metro line by the start of 2026, using driverless X-Wagen trains. To prepare for this transition, stations from Karlsplatz to City Hall will be equipped with platform screen doors, and the Frankhplatz station will undergo reconstruction.
Designed with an open-plan interior, the new X-Wagen trains prioritize comfort, security, and accessibility. Each 111-meter train can accommodate 928 passengers, 46 more than the V-metro train it replaces. The open layout facilitates quicker boarding and exiting, with designated spaces for passengers’ buggies and luggage. Priority seating, indicated by blue seats, caters to passengers with reduced mobility.
With the commencement of passenger operations, the maintenance contract between Wiener Linien and Siemens Mobility for the X-Wagen metro has also taken effect. Digital servicing, facilitated by Siemens’ rail asset management suite Railigent X, will contribute to future-oriented maintenance practices by Wiener Linien, aligning with Siemens Xcelerator, the open digital business platform for streamlined digital transformation. The Vienna Metro’s move toward a technologically advanced and automated future represents a significant milestone in the evolution of urban transportation. Stay tuned for further updates on this groundbreaking development.