During the first half of 2024, the first two of a total of 51 new high-floor light rail vehicles will roll through Essen and Mülheim an der Ruhr for test purposes. Following a successful tender, the Spanish company Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles (CAF) has been chosen as the Ruhrbahn’s partner. The new CAF vehicles will completely replace the Ruhrbahn’s old Docklands and B cars.
Safety and comfort for passengers and staff
The bidding process for the new high-floor tramcars was opened on 15 May 2019 with a Europe-wide invitation to tender. Together with representatives of CAF, the purchase contract for 51 new light rail vehicles was signed today – 17 June 2021 – at the Ruhrbahn headquarters in Essen. The new vehicles are similar to the previous NF2 and NF4 low-floor trams in terms of interior design and driver’s cab. With a length of 28 metres and a width of 2.65 metres, they offer space for at least 173 passengers. “The modern vehicles have an air-conditioned passenger and driver’s compartment as well as two multifunctional seats for passengers with walkers, wheelchairs or prams. Door opening and closing is supported by a visual and acoustic display. In the invitation to tender, we also deliberately opted for the bogie technology with air springs that has proven itself in the B coaches, which is characterised by smooth running and high ride comfort. For more safety, the new trams, like the NF2/4, have a driver assistance system as well as exterior cameras instead of exterior mirrors,” says Michael Feller, Managing Director of Ruhrbahn.
Investment of approximately 150 million euros
“Continuous investment in infrastructure and technology is indispensable for a modern transport company like the Ruhrbahn. With the investment of around 150 million euros, we will be able to renew the entire vehicle fleet by 2026. In the future, our passengers will be able to look forward to modern trains and correspondingly much greater comfort throughout the city,” Feller continues. The new vehicles will completely replace the 20 ex-Docklands vehicles built 1986 and 1989 and 31 Type B light rail vehicles, built new between 1976 and 1985.