September 12, 2017 / 11:06 AM / a year ago

UPDATE 1-Austria's Wiener Linien orders up to 45 Siemens trains

(Adds detail, background)

VIENNA, Sept 12 (Reuters) - Austrian public transport group Wiener Linien said on Tuesday it had ordered up to 45 underground trains from Germany’s Siemens worth up to 550 million euros ($658 million).

The trains, which will be able to operate with or without a driver, will be delivered between 2020 and 2030, a spokesman for Wiener Linien said.

Wiener Linien operates the Austrian capital’s tram, bus and underground network.

It plans to invest around 413 million euros in the extension and modernisation of its network in 2017.

The transport group placed firm orders for 34 trains and has an option to acquire 11 more, depending on the extension of the Vienna underground system and passenger numbers, the spokesman said.

Around 70 percent of the price will be paid for the trains, which will be built in Vienna, and 30 percent for future maintenance, he said.

Wiener Linien plans to introduce driverless bus routes in the near future and has been working on a relevant research project, partly funded by the transport ministry, since May.

Siemens is one of the partners involved in the project.

$1 = 0.8360 euros Reporting by Kirsti Knolle; editing by Shadia Nasralla and Jason Neely

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