New long-distance trains on Sørlandsbanen will be without a tilting system
New long-distance trains on Sørlandsbanen will be without a tilting system, but are expected to maintain the current timetable.
In March 2023, Norske tog entered into a contract with Stadler for the delivery of new long-distance trains, which will also operate on Sørlandsbanen. The current three sets of locomotives and carriages will be replaced by new train sets with a day/night variant. The competition specified a requirement for trains to adhere to the current timetable on Sørlandsbanen. There is an option in the contract to replace the type 73 train sets currently used on Sørlandsbanen, but it has not been decided whether this option will be exercised.
Type 73 has a tilting system that allows for faster speeds on the winding tracks of Sørlandsbanen. The new long-distance trains do not have a tilting system. The competition did not specifically require a tilting system on the trains, and there were no offers for it. This is because train manufacturers have largely moved away from producing tilting trains.
The new long-distance train (N10) generally has slightly higher acceleration than the current trains, compensating for the fact that they cannot travel as fast as type 73 around curves. Simulations conducted by Stadler during the competition show that the requirement to adhere to the current timetable can be marginally fulfilled, even though the new train will run slightly slower on some parts of Sørlandsbanen. Further optimizations of the train are being carried out in collaboration with Stadler during the design process before the trains are tested on Norwegian tracks and put into service.
Unfortunately, it is a fact that the tilting system on type 73 has not always functioned properly. The infrastructure on Sørlandsbanen is a challenge. It is single-track, old, and winding. It is unfortunately not possible to compensate for poor infrastructure with a new train. If the train is to travel faster on the Sørlandsbanen, it is necessary to upgrade the infrastructure.