In a joint announcement on 2 June, Wiener Linien, the City of Vienna and the Austrian Transport Ministry informed that the new line U5 will become the first fully automated line in Vienna, expected to start operation as early as 2023.
The U5 line project comprises in its first phase the conversion of part of the current U2 line to full automation and the construction of one new station at Frankhplatz. Four of the current U2 line stations (Rathaus, Volkstheater, Museumsquartier und Karlsplatz) will be transferred to the new line. All stations in the automated metro line will be equipped with Platform Screen Doors.
A tender for the acquisition and maintenance of 45 new trains is announced, with a decision expected for end of 2016, and the first units to be commissioned by 2018. This large tender will cover the needs for new driverless trains in U5 as well as the modernization needs of part of the existing fleet – replacing 24 old Silberpfeil trains and reinforcing service in lines U1 to U4.