From the LRTA – Karlsruhe orders Bombardier TramTrains


Good news for Rail for the Valley, Bombardier is now producing TramTrains for the famous Karlshrue Two-System light rail network. One would guess that Bombardier Inc. would love to demonstrate this product here. Imagine, the “Great Tram Train Trials” for the Fraser Valley, with Alstom, Siemens, Bombardier, Stadler all competing for orders here; it would give much international credence for the ‘interurban’ project.

Karlsruhe orders tram trains : The Albtal-Verkehrs-Gesellschaft mbH (AVG) and the Verkehrsbetriebe Karlsruhe GmbH (VBK) have between them ordered 30 dual-system FLEXITY Swift tram-trains from Bombardier at a cost of about 129 million euros (CAD $203 or $6.77 million per vehicle). The vehicles are expected to be delivered between August 2011 and September 2013. An option for up to another 45 vehicles has also been agreed.

The new vehicles will be manufactured in the Bombardier sites of Bautzen and Vienna. the will use the BOMBARDIER MITRAC propulsion and control system which will be provided by Bombardier Mannheim and have the BOMBARDIER FLEXX Urban 2500 bogies manufactures at the Bombardier site in Siegen

The Flexity Swift tram is a light-rail vehicle manufactured by Bombardier Transportation. Most models follow a 70% low-floor design in order to allow access to those in wheelchairs without requiring the construction of high platforms, though some of Cologne’s fleet use a high-floor format (900 mm) with level boarding platforms instead, in order to retain compatibility with stations built for older trams.

They are bi-directional, with cabs at both ends and doors on both sides, and are articulated with three sections. The centre section is very short on most trams, but can be replaced with a longer piece in order to increase capacity, as London is considering doing for future lines.

The trams can be coupled together into trains, and can safely reach speeds of 80Ai??Ai??km/h (50Ai??Ai??mph) when running on dedicated lines. Systems using the Flexity Swift tram include Cologne (for which it was originally designed), south London’s Tramlink, Istanbul, Rotterdam, Stockholm (lines 12 and 22), and the Minneapolis Hiawatha Line. Merseytram in Liverpool/Merseyside plan to use the same model as London if it is built.

A total of 40 new Flexity Swift trams have been ordered for use on Manchester Metrolink in England.

The Flexity Swift’s closest competitors are Alstom’s Citadis, the Siemens Combino and Avanto, Sirio from Ansaldobreda, and Bombardier’s other Flexity trams.


2 Responses to “From the LRTA – Karlsruhe orders Bombardier TramTrains”
  1. Jim says:

    This would be great to see running between YXX(including the popular trade show venue TradeX), Downtown Abbotsford, Historic Downtown Abbotsford, and UFV/AESC.

  2. Emma says:

    for building this kind of sytsem much bigger than it currently needs to be in the knowledge that it will be easy/cheap to expand its capacity later, rather than having to build Eglinton now, then in 20 (or 30 or 40 or whatever years) having to extend the tunnel/grade-separation (when capital costs will have risen dramatically owing to inflation and the rising cost of labour) and potentially shut the line down to expand stations that could have been built bigger initially.Steve: The peak demand I am talking about is future projections 30 years out, and they are still nowhere near subway levels. It is important on a route like Eglinton to distinguish between total daily riders and peak point demand because the trips are spread out in location and in time. There is a bit of room for more bus service on Eglinton, but not much.Since an LRT right-of-way already demands a fair amount of construction (as opposed to say putting in 99 B-Line style express bus service), why not bite the bullet and do the bulk of the work now? When the Millennium Line opened, there was a huge outcry because its ridership was significantly below projections, but that situation only lasted 5 years or so, if I remember correctly, and I suspect going into the future the problem will not one of unused capacity. As much as it’s desirable to avoid building capacity where it won’t ever be fully needed, it seems to me Eglinton is a pretty safe bet. And not that it’s always the case but with well-run rapid transit, if you build it, they will come. Steve: Of the full Eglinton line (Kennedy to Airport), a bit under 1/3 is the already-committed tunnel. Building the whole thing that way would add billions to the project with little benefit relative to the cost. Again, the main areas of demand are in the central section of the route where it is underground already. If that central section cannot get to subway levels in 30 years, the outlying areas are much further off.

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