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The region of Schleswig-Holstein is the first customer to order electric trains of the FLIRT Akku type from the Swiss railway manufacturer Stadler. The order value for the 55 trains is around EUR 600 million. Starting in 2022, they are to be used on non-electrified routes in the north and east of the region, in particular, and gradually replace the old diesel locomotives. The manufacturer will provide the maintenance for the next 30 years. The FLIRT Akku has batteries fitted to the roof that can be charged up by overhead cable in the station and at special charging stations. The braking energy is also fed back into the battery. The trains do not need any expensive overhead cables and can still operate with no emissions.

According to Stadler, FLIRT stands for “Flinker leichter innovativer Regional-Triebzug” (“Swift, light, innovative regional train”). It is a three-section locomotive with a maximum speed of 160 kph and a maximum range of 150 km. The electric trains have 124 seats and are barrier-free (accessible to those with disabilities), air-conditioned and equipped with WiFi.