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RABe 528 – «MIKA» – The future has begun

After years of planning and project development and months of construction and testing, the wait is finally over: from 10 May, MIKA will be taking to the tracks and doing exactly what it was designed for – connecting people, cities and regions.

Following an intensive test phase and extensive trial runs, the big day has finally arrived. The first of the 58 MIKAs (an acronym that, when translated, stands for “modern, innovative, compact all-round train”) ordered by BLS will enter service on the Bern–Neuchâtel line as IR66. Around 30 of these roughly 100-metre-long single-decker trains, which are part of the “RegioExpress” series, are being built by Stadler Rail. Comfortable seats, spacious multi-functional areas, large panoramic windows with panes designed for a better mobile phone signal, light interiors, plug sockets by almost every seat and an on-train refreshment area with vending machines for snacks and coffee are the icing on the cake of these new locomotives.

In addition to running on the line connecting Bern, Neuchâtel and La-Chaux-de-Fonds, the MIKAs will also operate on the Bern–Lötschberg–Brig–Domodossola/Zweisimmen route from the end of 2022.

An additional 28 MIKAs are being adapted to meet the requirements of running on Bern’s S-Bahn city rail network. This adapted S-Bahn model is currently in development and is set to be ready for service on the S2, S4, S5, S51 and S6 S-Bahn lines from 2023 onwards.

Information about the RE model Technical data, features, train names

General information RABe 528 (MIKA)

  • 30 Quantity
  • 101–130 Numbers
  • BLS AG Owner Nr. 101–124
  • BLS Fernverkehr AG Owner Nr. 125–130
  • 2021–2023 Put into service

Technical data

  • 104,9 m Length
  • 182 t Weight
  • 3,500 kW Power output
  • 160 km/h Maximum speed

Seating

  • 46 Seats (first class)
  • 198 Seats (second class)
  • 31 Folding seats (second class)
  • 149 Standing room (second class) No circulation areas, 3 people per m2
  • 1 Wheelchair spaces (first class) without access to toilet
  • 2 Wheelchair spaces (second class) with access to toilet
  • 12 Bicycle spaces

Features

Comfortable

  • Yes Low-floor access gap-bridging for every external door
  • Yes Air conditioning
  • Yes Large panoramic windows
  • Yes Self-service refreshment area
  • 2 WC 1 is wheelchair-accessible
  • yes Baby changing facilities in WC
  • Yes Power sockets for electronic devices (first class) pro Sitzplatz
  • yes Power sockets for electronic devices (second class) per seat
  • Yes Plug sockets in multi-functional compartment
  • Yes Good mobile reception thanks to non-signal-blocking window panes
  • Carpet Flooring (first class)
  • Rubber Flooring (second class)

Informed

  • Yes Passenger information on the train visual
  • Yes Passenger information in the train visual and acoustic
  • Yes Network maps distributed throughout multiple-unit train
  • Yes Infotainment news, weather, events, adverts

Safe

  • Yes Video surveillance
  • Yes Fire alarm and fire-fighting system
  • Yes SOS buttons at every exit and in every closed compartment
  • ja Acoustic and visual alerts before doors close

Clean

  • Yes Rubbish bin at seats
  • Yes Dirt traps at all exits
  • Yes Newspaper collection box at each exit

Current use daily on the following lines

  • IR66 Bern–Neuchâtel–La Chaux-de-Fonds
  • S4 Thun–Belp–Bern–Burgdorf–Langnau i.E. zeitweise, unregelmässig je nach Umlauf

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