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NSB Class 73
Kristiansand BM73 train01 2005-04-10.jpg
An NSB BM73 Signatur train at Kristiansand Station
In service 1997–present
Manufacturer ADtranz Strømmen
Number built 16 units (A-series)
6 units (B-series)
Formation BM73-BFR73-BMU73-BFM73
Capacity 204 (54-36-78-32) (A-series)
243 (50-74-78-44) (B-series)
Operator Norges Statsbaner
Line(s) served Dovre Line
Bergen Line
Sørland Line
Østfold Line (B-series)
Specifications
Car length 27.9 m (ends)
26.32 m (centre)
Maximum speed 210 km/h
Weight 55.1 t (BM)
49.2 t (BFR)
56.6 t (BFU)
54.2 t (BFM)
Electric system(s) 15 kV 16⅔ Hz AC overhead wire
Gauge 1,435 mm (4 ft 8+12 in)
A BM73 b-series train entering Trollhättan.

NSB Class 73 (Norwegian: NSB type 73) is a four car electric multiple unit operated by Norway's main passenger railway company, Norges Statsbaner (NSB), on long-haul and regional journeys. It is similar to the originally three-car BM71 EMUs operated by Flytoget, but also incorporates tilting passenger cabins, something Flytoget does not. Formerly, these trains were branded as NSB Signatur and were intended to run as high speed trains.

The BM73s were built between 1997 and 1998 by ADtranz Strømmen, and the first of the 16 A-series long-distance trains were put into service on Sørlandsbanen. The trains now run several of the express trains on Bergensbanen, Dovrebanen and Sørlandsbanen. Trains consist of either one or two 4-car units. The trains are allowed to run faster than regular locomotive pulled trains, but NSB does not use them this way, despite the tilting mechanism, so Oslo-Bergen takes about 6h:40min, about the same time as it did decades ago. The B-series consists of another six BM73 trains which entered service in 2002. These trains feature a higher passenger density, with seats replacing some of the amenities such as the playroom for children, and dining car. They are used for trains on the shorter Østfoldbanen, also continuing to Gothenburg, Sweden.

Contents

History

The background for the delivery of the BM73 was the need from NSB both to order new, tilting trains for long-haul service, as well as trains for the airport rail link to Oslo Airport, Gardermoen. The Swedish railway, Statens Järnvägar had built 43 X2 units used in their X 2000 long-haul service, and on March 12, 1993 this train was tried out by NSB on Randsfjordbanen. Based on this, NSB Gardermobanen AS ordered 16 units from ADtranz in 1995 for use on Gardermobanen, with options for additional orders. In 1996 an X2 unit was test, and then put into regular service on Sørlandsbanen. Based on this, NSB ordered 16 BM73-units on March 5, 1997. Delivery started on October 22, 1999, with the last A-series being delivered on 2001.[1]

The trains were first put into service on Sørlandsbanen on November 1, 1999, followed by Dovrebanen on January 9, 2000 and later the same year on Bergensbanen. While the brand Signatur was used vigorously to begin with, it was later silently withdrawn, and from 2007 NSB has started repainting the trains to the red and silver colors used by other trains.

The order of for six B-series trains was placed on December 15, 1999. Though technically almost identical to the A-series, these had a different interior configuration, with more seating (243 compared to 204). These were delivered in 2001-02 and put into use on Østfoldbanen as NSB Agenda trains. Until the repainting job started with the A-series, the B-series was easily distinguishable due to the red paint job.[1]

Specifications

The BM73 is technically quite similar to the X2, they main difference being that the BM73 does not have a separate locomotive car, instead featuring a powered bogie in each car, a different nose design and the lack of flexibility in train length. Instead of varying the number of middle cars, NSB can choose to use one or two multiple units together to form one train. The latter is often seen on Dovrebanen and Bergensbanen.[1] The approved top speed is 210 km/h, which is allowed only on Gardermobanen. They do not go faster than 160 km/h elsewhere, and usually slower than that. Because of incidents with the axles, they were for a period limited to 160 km/h.

Incidents and accidents

  • The trains were plagued with troubles early in their service, the most serious being weak axles. On June 10, 2000 an axle broke on a train at Nelaug, causing it to derail. The train was moving slowly so there were no serious injuries, but the trains needed adjustments. This was one of the reasons CEO of NSB, Osmund Ueland had to resign. An agreement was made with Bombardier to deliver new axles in 2002-03.[1]
  • Another derailment occurred on February 21, 2007 on Bergensbanen between the stations of Myrdal and Hallingskeid when a train consisting of two BM73 sets ran into an avalanche covering the line and derailed, and two of the carriages tipped down the embankment. Although the driver succeeded in slowing the train down enough to prevent a catastrophe (none of the passengers were seriously injured), the accident brought scrutiny to the train's ability to handle snowy conditions.[2] The trains are fairly lightweight, and are not equipped with a snowplough at the front. The trainsets had previous incidents where they got stuck in snow and were criticized by Jernbaneverket who were concerned over the BM73's ability to handle such conditions.[3]

References

  1. ^ a b c d Aspenberg, Nils Carl (2001) (in Norway). Elektrolok i Norge. Oslo: Baneforlaget. ISBN 82-91448-42-6.  
  2. ^ Bergens Tidende. "Tåler ikke snøfonner" (in Norwegian). http://www.bt.no/lokalt/hordaland/article342847.ece. Retrieved 2007-02-22.  
  3. ^ Norsk Rikskringkasting. "Snø stanser Signatur-togene" (in Norwegian). http://www.nrk.no/nyheter/innenriks/5568269.html. Retrieved 2007-03-20.  

External links

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