On 22. July, Westbahn, the open access provider in Austria, and Stadler Rail announced the procurement of 15 new Stadler double deck EMUs for its operations. The cost of the procurement was undisclosed, but Stadler beat the Chinese supplier CRRC.
Why does it matter: Westbahn was tainted to buy trains from CRRC, helping them to land in Europe, and at the same time acquiring a large fleet not with an open tender. This flexibility, that no WTO compliant tender is necessary, allowed Westbahn now also to decide for another offer, the one from its current supplier Stadler Rail. At the same time, Westbahn is selling its current rolling stock to Deutsche Bahn, in desperate need for new rolling stock, and making space for the new trains.
The bigger picture: CRRC tries for quite some time to find a first larger rolling stock project in Western Europe. So far, there are shunting locomotives for Germany and Freight locomotives for Serbia in production or delivered. A key issue is onboard signaling since all European suppliers so far have not sold their on-board ETCS products necessary for a homologation in Europe.