Press release

Bombardier develops concepts to increase health protection for train and tramway passengers

  • To increase passenger protection in the age of COVID-19, Bombardier has created new hygiene concepts, adapted designs in trains and trams, as well as new materials and filter technologies

In view of the continuing threat of COVID-19 and with the knowledge that pandemics may continue to affect our daily lives, Bombardier Transportation, the world's leading manufacturer of trains and trams, is working intensively on comprehensive concepts to combat the spread of viruses in public transport. New hygiene concepts, adapted designs in trains and trams, as well as new materials and filter technologies, are designed to further improve the health protection of passengers while travelling. In addition to immediate measures that can be taken, there are solutions available that involve technical and physical adaptations to vehicles that can only be implemented in the medium term. In order to have a future-proof basis for this, Bombardier is participating in corresponding studies by leading research centres.

COVID-19 poses a new challenge in terms of protecting the health of public transport passengers and workers. Each person must primarily protect himself/herself by wearing a mask. However, additional measures to reduce the risk of infection in the train or tramways should have a positive effect on the use of public transport and on passenger behaviour in trains and tramways. This will require conceptual and technical adjustments and improvements to rail vehicles.

Andreas Bonifazi

Media Relations

Group Media Relations

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Public transport hit hard

Public transport has been hit particularly hard by the restrictions imposed to combat the corona crisis. During the first wave of infection, the capacity utilization rates of urban, regional and national transport have reduced by up to 70 per cent. Passengers are avoiding public transport because of fears of health risks - even though the protection concepts are effective and according to a study by Deutsche Bahn, there is no evidence today of higher absences of public transport staff due to COVID-19. As an industrial partner to the public transport industry, Bombardier supports rail operators with technical and technological solutions to keep the use of rail-bound public transport at a high level.

The range of measures to improve health and safety on trains or trams is broad and extends from simple adaptations such as stickers, surface treatments, cleaning concepts and signage to more complex modifications such as contactless doors, adaptations to air conditioning, Plexiglas panels and rearranged seating.

Short and long-term measures

Some of the possible adjustments can be realized in the short and medium term, while others can only be implemented with the development of the next generation of vehicles. In order to develop the corresponding fundamentals, Bombardier is participating in a study currently underway at the German Center for Rail Transport Research, the results of which are expected to be available in 2021. Bombardier will make the concepts based on this study available to transport companies worldwide, enabling them to offer their passengers health protection based on the latest findings.

Key measures being put in place include:

Increase distances

Measures that increase the distance between passengers make a significant contribution to reducing infection. This can be achieved, for example, through optimized passenger guidance, new designs and flexible car component layouts, as well as with additional protective partitions.

Reduce contacts

Thanks to additional sensors, passengers will in future be able to give commands in a train or tram almost without contact. This applies, for example, to opening the doors or triggering the toilet flush.

Fighting viruses

Additional disinfectant dispensers, innovative surfaces which viruses do not adhere for as long, optimized fresh air supply to help combat any virus already present in a train or tram. This also includes new, special filter systems which can be retrofitted into existing vehicles.

Switzerland also benefits from Bombardier's global know-how

Bombardier possesses extensive know-how worldwide in the optimization of train and tram safety. Some adaptations on offer can be used by Swiss rail and transport companies right now. However, the measures will be relevant for several years, as social distancing will remain an important component of safe public transport. In its efforts to make public transport even safer, Bombardier is also assuming and fulfilling its social responsibility.

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About Bombardier Transportation

Bombardier Transportation is a global mobility solution provider leading the way with the rail industry’s broadest portfolio. It covers the full spectrum of solutions, ranging from trains to sub-systems and signalling to complete turnkey transport systems, e-mobility technology and data-driven maintenance services. Combining technology and performance with empathy, Bombardier Transportation continuously breaks new ground in sustainable mobility by providing integrated solutions that create substantial benefits for operators, passengers and the environment. Headquartered in Berlin, Germany, Bombardier Transportation employs around 36,050 people and its products and services operate in over 60 countries.

About Bombardier

With over 52,000 employees across two business segments, Bombardier is a global leader in the transportation industry, creating innovative and game-changing planes and trains. Our products and services provide world-class transportation experiences that set new standards in passenger comfort, energy efficiency, reliability and safety.

Headquartered in Montréal, Canada, Bombardier has production and engineering sites in over 25 countries across the segments of Aviation and Transportation. Bombardier shares are traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange (BBD). In the fiscal year ended December 31, 2019, Bombardier posted revenues of $15.8 billion US. News and information are available at or follow us on Twitter @Bombardier.

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