“In terms of both its size and its relevance, this order represents a huge success for our company and is the largest and longest-term order Knorr-Bremse has received from Stadler to date,” comments Dr. Jürgen Wilder, Member of the Executive Board of Knorr-Bremse AG and responsible for the Rail Vehicle Systems division. “Building on the longstanding collaboration between BVG, Stadler and Knorr-Bremse, we are delighted to help make this far-sighted investment in the new generation of Berlin Metro vehicles a reality. With a view to local value added and as a sign of our long-term commitment to the city where the metro cars will operate, our Berlin plant will also be playing a major part in the production and servicing of the equipment.”
By equipping these vehicles from Stadler’s metro segment Knorr-Bremse is safeguarding and strengthening its market position in the European arena in more ways than one. By way of example, the previous generation of vehicles on the Berlin Metro, such as the Series IK fleet which entered service in 2015, already operate successfully with brake equipment from Knorr-Bremse. Now, for the new Series J and JK vehicles, Knorr-Bremse is to supply the world’s best-selling brake control system for modern metros. Originally known as the EP2002 and with over 100,000 units installed worldwide, this mechatronic brake control system will now see service in Germany too, in an optimized version that goes by the new product family name CubeControl. As a result, Stadler and BVG will benefit from technology that is both extremely well tried and tested and at the same time right up to date.
Accessing Stadler Deutschland’s metro segment with entrance and HVAC systems
In addition, for the first time ever, Knorr-Bremse will be supplying entrance and HVAC systems for metro cars from Stadler Deutschland. “For our Group brand IFE alone, the global market leader for rail vehicle entrance systems, this is one of the biggest orders in the company’s history. Together with Merak, our Group subsidiary for integrated climate control solutions, our technologies offer the fleet operator maximum reliability, comfort and energy efficiency throughout the entire product life cycle,” explains Dr. Peter Radina, Member of the Management Board of Knorr-Bremse Rail Vehicle Systems.
The new cars will actually be equipped with the latest version of IFE’s Type RLS sliding plug door system, previous versions of which have already proven extremely reliable in BVG’s metro car fleet. These systems are equipped with advanced obstacle detection and LED lighting on the door leaves and facilitate rapid, safe and barrier-free boarding and alighting. The passenger compartments will also be equipped with modern heating and ventilation systems, while driver’s cabs will feature energy-efficient HVAC systems, all based on Merak’s extensive experience and proven, reliable components.
The Group’s range of technologies that are not only highly innovative but also tried and tested proved a decisive factor in winning the order.
Supply of parts and digital services for 32 years
In all, Knorr-Bremse is to supply replacement parts and handle obsolescence management for the Group’s entire scope of supply for 32 years. These measures ensure that the systems supplied remain operational for the full term of the agreement, avoiding unscheduled vehicle downtime due to a lack of components and clearing the way for a long service life for the metro cars. In addition, data-driven condition-based maintenance will boost the availability of the entrance systems, while efficient maintenance cycles optimize operating costs.
With the procurement of up to 1,500 new cars (when the options are included), the existing BVG metro fleet will gradually be modernized and expanded over the coming decade with a view to accommodating increasing passenger numbers going forward and meeting the growing need for rapid and efficient mobility. On top of the initial order already received, if Stadler exercises the options, then between Q1 2026 and the beginning of 2031, Knorr-Bremse will be able to supply technologies for as many as 894 additional cars. Successful collaboration between Stadler Deutschland and Knorr-Bremse dates back to 2001 and covers braking and other systems for many different types of rail vehicle, including metro cars (IK), VARIOBAHN light rail vehicles, KISS double-decker trains, and multiple units based on the FLIRT platform.