Bombardier’s MOVIA C30 metros for Stockholm are setting new standards in comfort and capacity with their award-winning design.
From the beginning, the Stockholm public transport company put a lot of emphasis on collaboration as a tool to develop a design language that expresses Stockholm’s unique spirit of honesty and minimalism without compromising material and form”, explains Michael Sohn, Head of Industrial Design at Bombardier Transportation. “We were motivated by our shared desire to build an attractive vehicle that would be instantly recognizable,” continues Sohn. It would appear that the cooperative effort has been a success. In 2016, Stockholm’s MOVIA C30 vehicle won international recognition with a prestigious GOOD DESIGN® Award.
Ordered in 2013, the new metros will start operating on the red line of Stockholm’s “Tunnelbana” (T-Bana) in 2019. A cornerstone to this vehicle’s success has been the long and deep partnership between manufacturer Bombardier and Stockholm’s public transport company, Storstockholms Lokaltrafik (SL). All of T-Bana’s previous metro vehicles were designed and built by Bombardier, or one of its predecessors, enabling all parties to work as a team when developing the new generation of metros.
Similar to architecture, designing a train requires looking at the entire context “building” – from façade to the layout and interior equipment. All passengers should feel comfortable while at the same time complex requirements for cost efficiency and sustainability have to be met accordingly.
The project’s two main requirements were to accommodate larger passenger numbers while delivering an exceptional travel experience. On one hand, as one of Europe’s fastest growing urban centers, Stockholm needs greater transport capacity, but at the same time, the Swedish capital didn’t want to compromise – they still wanted an attractive vehicle that would be a city icon for the next 30 years.
Bombardier delivered with a striking vehicle that embraced Scandinavia’s design tradition – a blend of wide open spaces, transparency and soft light with an emphasis on modernity, diversity and inclusion. Outside, the MOVIA C30 train demands attention at first glance with its illuminated windshields front and back and an elegant but powerful streamlined form. But, just as with a building, equal attention was given to the interior where passengers would spend most of their time.
Here you’ll instantly notice the wide open spaces filled with a subdued lighting arrangement that invites you inside. Capacity and space have been cleverly increased delivering wider seats, doors and windows that making entry and exit quicker and easier. Passengers with limited mobility or travelers with baby carriages or luggage will get more space than ever as well. All of which seeks to accommodate the red line’s growing ridership – expected to increase with an ongoing upgrade that will increase the frequency of service from 24 to 30 trains per hour.
Thore Sekkenes, Managing Director of Bombardier Transportation Sweden believes, “Whenever public transport is designed based on a blend of aesthetics and sustainability, passenger volume will increase. With this metro design, Stockholm has brought this approach to a new level and Stockholm’s local transport system will be ready to meet the needs of this growing city for many years to come.”
The new four-car vehicles for the Stockholm T-Bana are fitted with driver cabins, but the necessary arrangements for a potential change to the driverless operation have already been made. The MOVIA C30 trains are prepared for the future in many respects. They meet the strictest environmental standards for instance in energy consumption and noise levels. In addition, the materials used are 98% recyclable and the maintenance costs are low.
Only the initial draft is still drawn with hand and pen. 3D design programs have replaced the pencil sketches. However, the designers cannot and do not want to rely entirely on digital methods. For this reason, they still mill models from hard foam, for example, to check the lines. In their workshops, the designers also constantly create models of individual elements or even whole trains. A 1:1 mock-up of a MOVIA C30 car was an essential working tool during the entire design and development process. It allowed the designers and engineers at Bombardier, in close collaboration with the customer, to evaluate and verify the design solutions for aesthetic qualities, ergonomics, comfort and functionality.
In the production planning of the MOVIA C30 metro, Bombardier also made us of the endless possibilities of virtual production for the first time. Before starting the actual assembly, complex assembly procedures could be virtually validated using simulated manufacturing processes and computer models. This ensured a smooth start of the real assembly.
Not only could the engineers virtually validate the assembly sequence, they also simulated the accessibility during assembly. In addition, the virtual reality tools displays the order status of the components to visualise and identify possible bottlenecks. Many issues could be recognized and solved at an early stage – before they could evolve into problems in real production.