February 11, 2019 / 1:37 PM / 2 years ago

Swiss say Bombardier trains still fall short of expectations

FILE PHOTO - The logo on the headquarters of the Swiss Federal Railways SBB is seen in Bern, Switzerland May 11, 2016. REUTERS/Ruben Sprich

ZURICH (Reuters) - Swiss Federal Railways (SBB) said on Monday that new Bombardier trains have yet to live up to expectations and that both companies were working to correct issues, including improving software and fixing problematic doors.

“It’s a painful forceps delivery,” SBB Chief Executive Andreas Meyer told a news conference in Bern, the Blick newspaper reported. “But we want it to be a good kid that will be in action for 40 years.”

Swiss Federal Railways awarded Bombardier a 59-train contract in 2010 but the first deliveries were made only in 2018. Amid problems, Bombardier agreed to add three trains free of charge as compensation, boosting deliveries to 62.

The railway has said it would not take new trains from Bombardier until the Canadian company fixes problems with the 12 that are already in service, raising questions over the timing of future deliveries for the 1.9 billion Swiss franc ($1.89 billion) contract.

“I’m sure we will soon no longer be talking about the problems, but about this good train,” said Stephane Wettstein, head of Bombardier Switzerland, at the news conference that followed a joint presentation to Swiss parliament.

SBB has paid about a third of the contract value to Bombardier so far, it said in a statement.

The contract for the double-decker intercity trains calls for undisclosed penalty payments in the event of delays. “There are still open commercial questions,” SBB said. “Those will be resolved later.”

($1 = 1.0036 Swiss francs)

Reporting by John Miller; Editing by Michael Shields

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