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Refit for the “NINA” trains completed

BLS is investing in its trains for its customers. All 36 NINA-type train units have now undergone a full-scale service and from late June 2019 will be providing greater comfort to passengers, saving more energy on the rails, and will be easier to maintain in the workshops.

Around 31,000 travellers a day use the NINA trains on the BLS network. The NINA units are deployed on the Bern S-Bahn (local train) network and also connect the Swiss capital with the Emmental, the Bernese Oberland, Western Switzerland, Solothurn and Lucerne. All 36 trains of this type have now been fully renovated and the very last NINA to be refitted has left the BLS workshops in Bönigen. For the refit, BLS has invested approximately CHF 30.7 million over a period of four years.

Greater comfort while saving energy

The renovated NINAs have been equipped with CO2 sensors, which measure air quality inside the train. This enables fresh air to be supplied as required. Meanwhile, LCC (Liquid Crystal Ceramics) lighting ensures pleasant light conditions and also consumes less energy relative to LED lights. In addition, insulating window panes have been added, preventing heat and cold from entering. In these trains, this saves BLS approximately ten percent of annual energy consumption.

More information and standardised materials

For the passengers’ benefit, there are now screens that display the stops and the next connections from those stations. The open area next to the train doors has also been enlarged, providing sufficient space for bicycles, pushchairs and luggage. To ensure that first class passengers can also board at the same level as the platform, the first-class section has now been moved to the centre of the train. In other BLS trains, too, the first-class coaches are located in the middle. The various spare parts and the material installed in the trains have also been standardised. This will enable the NINA units to be maintained more efficiently in the workshops. With the refit, BLS is ensuring that the trains can be used for at least another 15 years.

As well as making up the complete fleet used on the Central Switzerland S-Bahn lines operated by BLS (S6, S61 and S7), the 36 “NINA” trains (23 three-carriage and 13 four-carriage units) form the backbone of the service on the standard-gauge lines of the Bern S-Bahn, in conjunction with the 28 new “MUTZ” double-decker trains. (MUTZ stands for “Modern, universal, multiple-unit train” in German.) The NINA trains have now been in daily use for over 15 years (constructed between 1998 and 2005), collectively travelling a distance equivalent to 1,700 times around the Earth.

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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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