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Stadler delivers new Citylink Tram-Train generation to Chemnitz

The Transport Authority VMS Mittelsachsen orders 19 CITYLINK with the option of up to 27 additional vehicles for the Chemnitz-Bahn. The three-car bi-directional vehicles will go into passenger service from summer 2026 I © Stadler

Green light for the financing, procurement and maintenance of new all-electric dual-system light rail vehicles (tram-trains) for the Chemnitz-Bahn lines. After the authority’s assembly already approved the project at the beginning of the month, the contracts have now also been signed. For the future tram-train fleet, a new depot is being built on Sachsen-Allee in Chemnitz.

The VMS association meeting has decided on an overall package for the Chemnitz Railway (Chemnitz Model) amounting to €234.56 million. This includes trains, the new depot at Sachsen-Allee and maintenance. 

The project of the VMS GmbH is financed by taking out investment loans, subsidies from the Free State of Saxony as well as own funds of the Zweckverband Verkehrsverbund Mittelsachsen (ZVMS). 

The contract for the delivery and maintenance of 19 dual-system trams (with an option for up to 27 more) has been awarded to the bidder/bidding consortium Stadler, represented by Stadler Deutschland GmbH. Stadler will deliver the trams from summer 2025, with scheduled passenger service starting in June 2026. 

The trains are similar to the Citylinks previously used by City-Bahn Chemnitz (CBC) to serve the Chemnitz-Bahn lines on behalf of the ZVMS since 2015. Conceptually, the new Citylinks are likely to be similar to the VDV order that Stadler won at the beginning of the year. However, Chemnitz did not take part in that one in the end. We reported here:

The new Tramlink generation

The length of the vehicles is 37.5 m and they can carry 236 passengers, there are 88 seats. The 2nd generation Citylinks have four double doors on each side, allowing level access on platforms with 38 cm and 55 cm. The carriage of prams, wheelchairs and bicycles is planned. The vehicles are equipped with a dynamic passenger information system (FIS) and a radio-controlled information system for the blind (BLIS). The new trams have a drive power of 900 kW and reach a speed of 100 km/h. The main difference to the 1st generation Citylinks is that the new Stadler trams are fully electric and can run on tram current (600/750 V DC) in the city or on railway current (15,000 V AC) in the surrounding area.

The current fleet of Chemnitz dual-system railways consists of 12 Stadler Citylinks, which can be operated with 750 V as well as with a diesel generator for non-electrified lines I © UTM

Planned operation

The 2nd generation Citylinks will be operated on the Chemnitz-Bahn line in the direction of Mittweida as well as on the lines to Glauchau via Stollberg and Oelsnitz, to Burgstädt and Hainichen, which are still to be electrified. They will also be used to Limbach-Oberfrohna (extension stage CM 4). The 1st generation Citylinks will run later on the non-electrified routes.
VMS Managing Director Mathias Korda: “With the new vehicle package, we are more cost-effective and environmentally friendly on the road. We are implementing the principle of ‘delivery plus maintenance by the manufacturer’, which has already been successfully practised in the Mittelsachen electronic network.”
Jure Mikolčić, CEO of Stadler Deutschland GmbH: “With the delivery of the next generation of the CITYLINK, Stadler is demonstrating that innovative and flexible solutions can be used to connect city and countryside comfortably and without transfers. We are pleased to continue our cooperation with the region with the delivery of the 19 multi-system capable vehicles.”

New depot

The construction of the new depot on Sachsen-Allee is necessary so that the vehicles can be maintained. Because only if the new Citylinks can be maintained in high quality can local transport function smoothly, safely and comfortably.

The planning for the depot will begin this year, and approval for construction (zoning decision) can be expected in 2024. The depot should be in operation by 2026.