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Refit of the “NINAs”

Comprehensive refit programme for the 36 “NINAs”

Since mid-June 2015, the 23 three-unit and 13 four-unit “NINA” low-floor trains have been undergoing a comprehensive refit programme. During this process, technical adjustments will be made and improvements in relation to travel comfort will be implemented. The refit programme is expected to last until the end of 2018.

The refit work on the 36 low-floor NINAs (low-floor regional trains) started on 29 June 2015 in the BLS workshop in Bönigen, in order to guarantee our passengers smooth operation of the vehicles for another 15 to 20 years (until about 2030–35).

The refit should ensure that the “NINA” fleet represents a modern and contemporary part of BLS’s fleet which will also meet future customer requirements.

In addition to technical adjustments made during the refit, which will take about three years, improvements relating to travel comfort will also be implemented. During this process, first class will see the greatest improvements: by transferring the compartments to the centre of the train, passengers will benefit from a separate compartment in the low-floor section, power sockets, greater travel comfort and a quieter journey. Furthermore, all “NINAs” will be painted in the new BLS colour scheme.

The 36 “NINA” vehicles (23 three-unit and 13 four-unit trains) constitute the entire fleet on the BLS lines of the Central Switzerland S-Bahn (S6, S61 and S7), and, together with the 28 new MUTZ (modern, universal multi-unit train) double-decker trains, form the backbone of the standard-gauge lines of the Bern S-Bahn. They have already been operating daily for more than 15 years (constructed between 1998 and 2005) and together have travelled the equivalent of the circumference of the Earth approximately 1,700 times.

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    News 

    9 october 2017

    Half-way point in the NINA modernisation programme: 18 of the 36 NINA trains have successfully passed through the programme, which will continue until mid-2019.

    29 August 2016

    BLS is also using the refit to install mobile-phone-friendly windows. The window glass developed by researchers at ETH Lausanne is more energy-efficient and permeable to mobile phone signals than the previously installed double-glazed glass. Read the media release.

    10 July 2015

    NINA 006 is currently being prepared for the various refit measures in the Bönigen workshop.

    31 July 2015

    Update No. 2 on the NINA refit: after the successful separation of the three-unit NINA 006 and the dismantling of furnishings and equipment, the first carriage body has been freshly painted.

    10 November 2015

    Update No. 3 on the NINA refit: the first three-unit NINA (number 006) has successfully undergone the refit. We are now waiting for the approval of the Federal Office of Transport, and then it will soon be transported from the workshop in Bönigen to Bern. Once this has happened, we will then make an exclusive revelation here on when and where exactly the multi-unit train will go into regular service for the first time.

    15 November 2015

    Update No. 4 on the NINA refit: NINA 006 has passed all the tests and is allowed to transport passengers again. It is currently on the way from the Bönigen workshop to Bern. Here it has come to a halt between Thurnen and Kaufdorf so our photographer can get a great shot of it.

    17 November 2015

    Update No. 5 on the NINA refit: today, we are presenting the NINA 006 to the media in the Aebimatt workshop in Bern. It will soon be back in service on the S-Bahn network. Read the media release.

    25 November 2015

    Update No. 6 on the NINA refit: today is the first time that NINA 006 will be in regular service following the refit.

    A detailed description of the improvements

    • First-class compartments will be transferred to the centre of the vehicle (low floor) and separated from second-class compartments by glass walls and sliding doors
    • More legroom in first class (increase from 1,800 to 1,990 mm)
    • New seat covers (fabric) and new flooring in first class
    • Fist class will now be equipped with power sockets for mobiles/laptops
    • Creation of an additional multi-purpose area
    • Brighter lighting in the passenger compartments and in the toilets
    • Uniform interior design (walls and seat upholstery)
    • Toilets now equipped with air fresheners
    • Safety light barrier at the entrance doors to improve passenger safety (to protect against crushing)
    • Installation of a fire alarm
    • Seats for disabled passengers are clearly marked
    • Tactile recognition of first class for visually impaired passengers
    • Entrance doors now equipped with rain gutters

    Schedule for the “NINA” refit 2015-2019

    In service following refit
    3-unit vehicles

    In service following refit
    4-unit vehicles

    CW No. CW No.
    47/48 2015 006  12/13 2016 022 
    05/06 2016 007 24/25 2016 016
    18/19 2016 037 34/35 2016
    023
    30/31 2016 001 43/44 2016 018
    38/39 2016 002 02/03 2017
    019
    47/48 2016 009 13/14 2017 020
    09/10 2017 003 23/24 2017 021
    18/19 2017 010 35/36 2017 017
    29/30 2017 004 44/45 2017 024
    40/41 2017 011 03/04 2018 025
    49/50 2017 005 14/15 2018
    015
    07/08 2018 008 24/25 2018
    027
    18/19 2018 012 44/45 2018 026
    27/28 2018 013    
    34/35 2018 014  
    38/39 2018 028    
    47/48 2018 029    
    02/03 2019 030    
    05/06 2019
    033    
    10/11 2019
    032    
    13/14 2019 034    
    19/20 2019
    035    
    23/24 2019
    036    

    Details of the 3-unit vehicles after the refit programme

    General information Low-floor regional trains RABe 525 (NINA)

    • 23 Trains
    • 001–014, 028–030, 032–037 Numbering
    • 1998–2005 Operational since

    Technical data

    • 47.7 m Length
    • 79 t Weight
    • 1000 kW Capacity
    • 140 km/h Top speed

    Seats

    • 20 Seats, first class
    • 114 Seats, second class
    • Fold-down seats, second class
    • 47 Standing spaces, second class no circulation area, 3 people per m2
    • No Wheelchair spaces, first class
    • 1 Wheelchair spaces, second class
    • 3 Bicycle spaces

    Ausstattung

    • Yes Low-floor access at all entrances
    • Yes Sliding-step entrance 1 entrance per side (at the wheelchair entrance)
    • Yes Air-conditioning
    • Yes Heating
    • Yes Passenger information on the train visual
    • Yes Passenger information inside the train visual and acoustic
    • 1 WC Wheelchair-friendly
    • No Baby-changing facilities in WC
    • Yes CCTV monitoring
    • Yes Power sockets for electronic devices, first class
    • No Power sockets for electronic devices, second class
    • Carpet Flooring, first class
    • Rubber Flooring, second class
    • Yes in both carriage classes Rubbish bins by the seat
    • Yes Newspaper collection box Per entrance

    Given name

    • No. 006 – “Willisau” Willisau Railway Station, celebration of commencement of dividing operations for the RegioExpress and S7, 17/12/2016
    • No. 007 – “Huttwil” Opening of the new BLS Travel Centre in Huttwil, 3/12/2016
    • No. 013 – “Konolfingen” Konolfingen Railway Station, celebration at the station, 1.06.2014
    • No. 033 – «Wankdorf» Bern Wankdorf Railway Station, celebration at the station, 3.5.2005
    • travelling in full advertising wrap No. 036 – “BZ Zug” Spiez workshop, signing of partnership agreement, 22.06.2011
    • Nr. 037 – «Junior Station Langnau» Langnau i.E. Railway Station, celebration at the station, 17.10.2009

    Details of the 4-unit vehicles after the refit programme

    General information Low-floor regional trains RABe 525 (NINA)

    • 13 Trains
    • 015–027 Numbering
    • 1998–2005 Operational since

    Technical data

    • 61.9m Length
    • 96 t Weight
    • 1000 kW Capacity
    • 140 km/h Top speed

    Seats

    • 20 Seats, first class
    • 159 Seats, second class
    • Fold-down seats, second class
    • 69 Standing spaces, second class no circulation area, 3 people per m2
    • No Wheelchair spaces, first class
    • 1 Wheelchair spaces, second class
    • 5 Bicycle spaces

    Features

    • Yes Low-floor access at all entrances
    • Yes Sliding-step entrance 1 entrance per side (at the wheelchair entrance)
    • Yes Air-conditioning
    • Yes Heating
    • Yes Passenger information on the train visual
    • Yes Passenger information inside the train visual and acoustic
    • 1 WC Wheelchair-friendly
    • Yes CCTV monitoring
    • Yes Power sockets for electronic devices, first class
    • No Power sockets for electronic devices, second class
    • Carpet Flooring, first class
    • Rubber Flooring, second class
    • Yes in both carriage classes Rubbish bins by the seat
    • Yes Newspaper collection box Per entrance

    Given name

    • travelling in full advertising wrap No. 015 – “GurtenBahn” Aebimatt workshop, signing of partnership agreement, 04.04.2013

    Clear reduction in energy consumption Sustainability

    The measurements of energy consumption in every NINA subsystem show that only slightly more than half of the energy consumed by the train per annum is currently used for traction, i.e. forward motion. A third of the energy is used for heating, ventilation and cooling – the NINA consumes a large proportion of this while idling, as it is continuously heated to a standard temperature. BLS is now improving this. As part of the refit programme, the energy consumed by the NINA trains is being reduced by more than a quarter.

    You can find out more about energy-saving in our sustainability report.

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