Bombardier Transportation has signed a contract with Dresden’s transport authority Dresdner Verkehrsbetriebe (DVB) to supply and maintain 30 Flexity trams, equipped with an Obstacle Detection and Assistance System (ODAS) for preventing collisions.
The contract, worth €197 million (£180 million), includes FlexCare maintenance management for 24 years.
Also included is an option for ten additional trams and eight more years of servicing and maintenance.
The new Flexity trams are wider than DVB’s current vehicles, offering significantly greater comfort for passengers with 2+2 seating and large panoramic windows. The new trams will be able to carry up to 290 passengers, an increase of around 10 per cent.
To avoid fouling the existing infrastructure, which has been built to accommodate the current, narrower trams, only the portion of the tram body which is above platform level has been widened.
The new fleet will be delivered by the end of October 2023.
Andreas Hemmersbach, DVB’s Board Member for Finance and Technology, said: “We urgently need the new light rail vehicles, which provide larger capacity, in order to offer sufficient space for the rapidly growing number of our passengers.
“In a multi-stage selection process, criteria such as technology, price, service and design were evaluated on a points-based system. Of all the manufacturers, Bombardier offered us the best overall package.”
Bombardier’s vice-president for urban transport in Germany, Alexander Ketterl, added: “We are proud to support our long-standing partner and customer DVB in their transport service expansion by supplying our innovative, reliable and air conditioned FLEXITY trams, offering generous multi-purpose areas and the highest safety standards.
“Our FlexCare maintenance management system not only ensures high availability and reliability, but also guarantees cost security over the entire term of the contract. Hand in hand with DVB, we will carry out servicing and maintenance of these FLEXITY trams together.”
The new trams will be manufactured at Bombardier’s two sites in Saxony, not far from Dresden itself. The car bodies will be produced in Görlitz while final assembly and commissioning will be carried out in Bautzen.
The Dresden tram network is interesting for two additional reasons.
The first is its unusual gauge – 1,450mm (4 ft 9 3⁄32 in) – 15 mm wider than 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 1⁄2 in) standard gauge.
The second is that, as well as a fleet of passenger-carrying trams, built by Bombardier and its predecessor Deutsche Waggonbau at Bautzen, Dresden operates two cargo-carrying trams. Manufactured by Schalker Eisenhütte Maschinenfabrik of Gelsenkirchen in 2000, using recycled bogies from the city’s old Tatra trams but with new bodies, these CarGo trams are 200 metres long, can carry up to 60 tonnes spread along five cars, and shuttle between VolksWagen’s factory in the east of the city and its distribution centre to the west, a distance of four kilometres.