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Siemens Mobility: Searching for the train of the future

Siemens Mobility: Searching for the train of the future

“The trains have been in use for 30 years.”

Karl Strasser

Siemens Mobility

What are the biggest challenges when dividing the space in a camper? Against the backdrop of an aging society and the important issue of inclusion, the topic of accessibility has become increasingly central. Our answer to this is increasingly low-floor entry solutions, often with additional running boards to safely bridge the gap between train and platform. In order to be able to implement this in the new trains, we first reduced the necessary technology to the minimum space required and at the same time rearranged it, for example on the roofs of the trains. In addition, it is important to plan for some level of future feasibility. Who would have thought, for example, in 2003 that cell phone reception, Wi-Fi and plug sockets were now an integral part of our daily lives and that passengers also needed this convenience on their train journeys? Since the trains will be in use for 30 years or more, the vehicles built by that time will be in use for at least another ten years.

In which areas can we expect the greatest innovation breakthroughs in the coming years? Due to the liberalization of rail transport and energy costs, trains should be more efficient and more economical than before. Therefore, further enhancing energy efficiency is a major concern. We see a lot of potential when it comes to lightweight construction: every kilogram of weight that can be saved helps because it proportionally provides the necessary driving energy. Therefore, our subway electronic car body takes nature as its model. In simple words, they are structured like the leaves of a tree, but with strong veins. Our researchers in Vienna also succeeded in implementing this idea in the London Underground project, and trains are now being built in this way. The new lightweight stroller from Graz is also the first of its kind in the world. It is 40 percent lighter than the conventional structure and will be used for the first time on ÖBB's new night trains. Both innovations from Austria save raw materials in construction, contain fewer wear parts and help railways in operation through lower energy consumption and reduced costs.

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Will the division into first and second division continue? Such a division will make less sense in the future, so I prefer to talk about dividing the available passenger space into zones. They can be tailored to individual needs and subject to appropriate game rules. Families with children need a different environment than business travelers. The requirements for a large travel group are also different compared to a solo traveler. As the character of the occupants increases, the number of zones or areas shown also increases. We at Siemens Mobility can do a lot of things technically; What is crucial here is good interaction between our customers, the needs and requirements of passengers and us as the technical implementer.