Frankfurt Airport has unveiled the first of 12 Siemens Mobility-produced vehicles for its new Sky Line people mover.

The Sky Line will supplement the existing transportation system between Terminals 1 and 2, connecting them with the new Terminal 3. Scheduled to begin operation with the opening of the new terminal, its first test trips will take place next year.

The driverless system will have the capacity to carry up to 4,000 people an hour in each direction. It will operate fully automatically around the clock. Each of the 12 vehicles will consist of two permanently linked cars, each of them 11 x 2.8m and weighing 15 metric tons. One car of each vehicle will be reserved for non-Schengen travellers.

Siemens is manufacturing the vehicles to Fraport’s specific requirements. These include a large number of folding seats to ensure that passengers always have enough space for their luggage, as well as specially designed grab bars that allow greater freedom of movement. When the system is completed, the vehicles will run on angled wheels surrounding a guide rail mounted on a concrete surface.

Albrecht Neumann, CEO for rolling stock at Siemens Mobility, explained: “The delivery of the first fully automated vehicle marks an important milestone in the construction of the new Sky Line. Going forward, these conveyances will efficiently, comfortably, and sustainably carry passengers to and from the new terminal. The trains are based on our proven Val solution, which is already in use worldwide, including at airports in Bangkok and Paris.”

The vehicles will be serviced in a new maintenance building and washed by a dedicated system. This first vehicle will initially be parked in the maintenance building, where it will be prepared for its first test runs.

The Max Bögl Group is responsible for building much of the new, 5.6km-long route on which the new Sky Line will operate. This work has been ongoing since July 2019 and is proceeding on schedule.

The Sky Line will carry travellers from the long-distance and regional train stations at Frankfurt Airport straight to the main building of Terminal 3 in only eight minutes.

Image: A vehicle for the new Sky Line people mover in front of the production plant in Vienna © Siemens Mobility, 2022