In 1990/1991 decided to buy new urban trains for Copenhagen area to have a uniform fleet in the future instead of several train types operated in the network. An invitation to tender was issued containing environmental specifications on noise emission and other environmental impacts from an LCA perspective.
DSB eventually decided for a Siemens LHB Alstom consortium. In this decision the low energy consumption per seat played an important role. The project was a development project rather than a mere purchasing project since the trains were to be taylored to the Copenhagen situation. A total of 120 train sets was ordered of which 30-40 were already operating by 2001.
One train set consists of 8 cars and has same length as old set consisting of 4 longer cars. Two trains sets are coupled together during rush hour service. In order to increase seats per train length the car-body was extended to the outer limits allowed by track profile and station platforms. The new trains are 3.60 meters wide (compared to 3.02 meters for the old trains). This allows to have three seats on both sides of the aisle (compared to 2 3 in the old trains).
Another special feature with a strong impact on train mass are the single-axle bogies (KERFs). The interior equipment was carefully assessed to find the optimum solution for mass reduction and LCA. These individual measures sum up to a mass reduction effect per seat of ~ 34%. Furthermore, in contrast to the old trains the new vehicles are equipped with regenerative brakes. As a consequence of all these features, in-service testing showed an energy consumption per seat-km reduced by ~ 60%. However, this reduction was measured in the old timetables. The new timetables used already on some lines are much tighter and recent measurements indicate that a substantial part of the energy efficiency gained has to be sacrificed again to fulfil the new timetable.
The costs for the new trains were high (~7 billion Danish Crowns (~1 billion EUR) for 120 train sets). The reason was the dedicated development for the specific Copenhagen situation.
According to DSB, the acceptance of the new trains on the part of the drivers and passengers is very high.