Written by: TrainSim-James
Originating in the late 1970s as a then-modern regional passenger EMU capable of operating throughout Austria, the ÖBB 4020 introduced a new era of rail travel through the latter quarter of the 20th Century and still performs today, and this uniquely designed EMU will soon be coming to Train Simulator, perfect for the upcoming, scenic and challenging Mittenwaldbahn route!
By the mid-1970s, it was becoming clear that the ÖBB 4030 fleet – which was introduced into service across Austrian rails in 1956 – was no longer living up to the ever-increasing passenger numbers throughout Austria. To resolve this it was decided that a new, much more modern EMU would be needed to ease the growing congestion and decrease journey times all while maintaining suitable comfort aboard.
The new electric multiple units were ordered in the mid-1970s and a total of 5 manufacturers were selected to build them, they were; Simmering-Graz-Pauker, BES, ELIN, Siemens and Brown, Boveri & Cie. The new units began delivery to Austrian Federal Railways in 1978 and they were subsequently classified as the ÖBB 4020, the units were shipped in ÖBB’s classic Blue & White livery and were immediately put to work across many regional lines in Austria including the Vienna S-Bahn, the Lower Inn Valley Railway, the Semmeringbahn and the Mittenwaldbahn.
The ÖBB 4020 was built to the most modern standards or regional passenger EMUs of the time; the units are powered from the standard 15 kV AC catenary to provide a top operating speed of 120 km/h or 75 mph. The units are 69.4 meters in length and are made up from a main power car (4020), an intermediate trailer (7020) and an unpowered control car (6020) – the entire consist weights around 127 tons. A single ÖBB 4020 can seat up to 184 passengers, while there is also ample standing room the spacious yet uniquely orange interior. Multiple units can be coupled together, to double the capacity at peak hours or on generally busy lines, with the versatile and reliable Scharfenberg coupling system. To cope with operating on some of the steeper gradients such as those found on the Semmeringbahn and Mittenwaldbahn, the 4020s are also fitted with powerful brakes to control speed while heading down the Austrian slopes.
By 1987 the total order of 120 ÖBB 4020 EMUs was completed and in full revenue earning service, their modern build and complete Second Class layout meant they were the ideal EMU for busy, regional railways. The 4020 fleet dominated their market for many years, and even when the ultra-modern ÖBB 4023 and 4024 ‘Talent’ EMUs arrived in the early 2000s, the older units still retained a large operating ground, and still provide vital service to this day.
Soon, you’ll have the chance to power this classic traction through the stunning Austrian Alps, as the ÖBB 4020 will be making its way to Train Simulator! ■