ZURICH (Reuters) - Bombardier (BBDb.TO) is making progress resolving problems with double-decker passenger trains which have drawn criticism from buyer Swiss Federal Railways (SBB), the company’s Swiss country chief has told a local newspaper.
SBB, in its largest ever order for rolling stock, in 2010 agreed to pay around 1.9 billion Swiss francs ($1.91 billion) for 62 trains. The project had been delayed for four years, however, and just 12 have been delivered.
A “dissatisfied” SBB last week apologized to customers for repeated cancellations and delays affecting the new trains and demanded improvements from Bombardier.
Stephane Wettstein, who runs Bombardier’s Swiss business, told the Aargauer Zeitung that the trains’ reliability had improved considerably in recent weeks. “In a few weeks a large part of the problems will be gone,” he told the newspaper in an interview.
He acknowledged that more testing could have helped address the problems but dismissed calls from Swiss politicians for compensation.
“At the moment compensation payments are not a topic at all. For this a contractual claim must arise and this is not the case,” he said.
He said the technical issues primarily concerned doors and sliding entry platforms, which did not pose safety issues, while the partners were working on how to reduce turbulence at low speeds.
Reporting by Michael Shields; editing by Jason Neely