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DT6 – Hamburg’s new metro train

Design of Hamburg's new DT6 | © HHA

Hamburger Hochbahn AG (HOCHBAHN) has launched a tender for the procurement of the next generation of metro vehicles. The first DT6 vehicles are scheduled to arrive in 2027. On the one hand, the vehicles are to gradually replace the DT4 vehicles that have been running in Hamburg’s underground network since 1988. Furthermore, additional vehicles will be needed in the course of the service extensions in the direction of the “Hamburg-Takt”. On the other hand, the first vehicles for the U5 must be procured so that the tests for fully automatic operation can start at the end of 2027.

Henrik Falk, CEO of HOCHBAHN: “We are procuring the first vehicles for fully automated operation on the U5. But above all, passengers on the existing lines will also benefit from the new underground trains. They are based on the DT5, but will set a new tone in the interior. The concept has been developed with customers and offers space for different needs.”

Due to the parallel demand for the existing network and the U5, HOCHBAHN has decided to invite tenders for one vehicle in two versions. The DT6 vehicles for the existing network (DT6-F) have a driver’s compartment at each end. The DT6 on the U5 (DT6-A) will be used in fully automatic operation without a driver’s cab. The approach with the two variants of one vehicle type offers the advantage that a relatively even number of vehicles can be called up per year. The exact distribution of the procurement of DT6-F and DT6-A versions is thereby adapted to the actual vehicle requirements.

Hamburg line with new interior design

Like the DT5, the DT6 vehicles will be 40 metres long and have a walk-through design. However, the new vehicles will consist of four carriages (DT5: three carriages per vehicle). Due to the reduced lengths of each car, the vehicles will come even closer to curved platforms and thus improve accessibility. The DT6 vehicles can run alone (40 metres) or in combination as 80- or 120-metre trains, offering a passenger capacity of up to 850 passengers. Since the driver’s compartments are omitted in the DT6-A, there are even almost 900 passenger seats per 120-metre train.

The exterior design in red and silver ties in with the Hamburg line and is a further development of the DT5, which has been running on the Hamburg network since 2011. The doors, which are made entirely of glass and make the vehicle appear even more transparent, will be clearly more striking.

Longitudinal seat configuration offers more space in the DT6 | © HHA
Improved passenger information in the interior | © HHA

In the interior, some improvements will be implemented compared to the current DT5 generation. At 2.70 metres, the new vehicle is a approximately 10 centimetres wider. The seats will be arranged partly in classic groups of four, but also longitudinally. Overall, the passenger compartment is divided into four different zones: Close to the doors there are multi-purpose areas for high space requirements. A lounge area close to the doors and seats near the doors are for the passenger with a shorter length of stay. The use of the seating groups is particularly suitable for longer journeys. The layout was designed in a preliminary design development and is intended to increase passenger comfort. A new lighting system is to increase the quality of stay, the new passenger information system is to further improve customer communication.

Sustainability plays an important role in the tender process. In addition to economic efficiency and technical performance, this area is also included in the evaluation of the bids. This includes the criteria of weight, energy requirements and supply chains. When the contract is awarded, the contractual partner undertakes to create transparency on these sustainability issues on an annual basis. The recycling rate for the vehicles is to be at least 94 percent.

Train control via Communication Based Train Control (CBTC)

The aim of the tender is to conclude a framework agreement with a supplier that enables flexible call-off of vehicles over a long period of time. With the award, 48 DT6 vehicles are to be firmly ordered. Because with fully automatic operation on the U5, the interface between the vehicle and the operations management system is safety-relevant and significantly more complex than in the current state, HOCHBAHN has decided to put the U5 operations management system out to tender together with the DT6 vehicle. At its core, the operations control system controls and secures train operations with the help of a CBTC system (Communication Based Train Control). In addition, the passenger information, the platform screen doors and the communication technology are controlled via the system.

In the long term, up to 250 vehicles of the DT6-F variant can be procured on the basis of the tender – 190 vehicles as a replacement for the DT4 and 60 vehicles for the planned expansion of services within the framework of the Hamburg-Takt. Of the DT6-A variant, the procurement of 120 vehicles is planned in the long term. Of these, 14 vehicles are needed for the commissioning of the first section on the U5 between Bramfeld and City Nord.

Currently, the HOCHBAHN fleet consists of 126 DT4 and a total of 163 DT5 vehicles – the last vehicles of this series will be delivered by the end of the year. In addition, there is still an operational reserve of 10 DT3 vehicles and various historic vehicles.

(Info: HHA)

DT5 | © UTM/b
DT4 | © Budach
Only a few DT3 are still available for service | © Budach (2012)

We last reported about Hamburg’s future metro line U5 here:

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