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Barcelona, Nuremberg and Stockholm: three cities, three new types of metro

What do Barcelona, Nuremberg and Stockholm have in common? One could certainly ponder this question for hours. In fact, there are no obvious similarities between the Catalan, Franconian and Swedish metropolises – apart from the fact that all three cities have a well-developed underground network. And precisely this fact led to an extraordinary coincidence this summer: between July and August 2020, all three cities put new metro vehicles into operation. We had a closer look at the three new vehicle types supplied by CAF, Bombardier and Siemens.

Technical data of the new metro trains in Barcelona, Nuremberg and Stockholm I Sources: CAF/ Siemens Mobility/ Bombardier Transportation

Barcelona: The 5000 Series

The public transport operator of Barcelona (TMB) put the first four trains of the second generation of the 5000 series into service on metro line 5 this summer. The new trains were manufactured by Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles (CAF) in its factory in the Basque town of Beasain. The new 5000 series are almost identical to the 39 trains of the same series that have been in service on lines 3 and 5 for several years.

One of the new series 5000 metro trains on line 5 in Barcelona I © UTM

However, there are some minor changes to the interior of the vehicles. This includes the introduction of larger spaces for wheelchairs (4 in total) in the end cars and new emergency buttons for people with reduced mobility. There are now also bicycle spaces in the middle car – a rarity in many underground trains around the world! The five-car train can carry up to 826 people, 108 of whom can be seated. The trains are 86 m long and have a top speed of 80 km / h.

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The fleet of line 5 now consists of 34 vehicles that are used during rush hour. TMB is also receiving new trains for Line 1. Four CAF trains of the 6000 series will be delivered which are expected to arrive before the end of the year.

In total, TMB has invested 92 million euros in the purchase of new trains in recent years. In addition to the eight trains already mentioned for lines 1 and 5, four more trains for lines 3 and 4 are currently being delivered. Furthermore, the first new Alstom metro trains for lines 1 and 3 are expected next year. Last year TMB ordered 42 new trains from Alstom for a total of 268 million euros. We reported here:

Nuremberg: The G1 replaces the DT1 married-pairs

A few days after the commissioning of the new trains in Barcelona, the ceremonial presentation and maiden voyage of the new metro series G1 took place on 19 August in Nuremberg. Passenger service began the next day. Siemens is supplying a total of 21 type G1 four-car trains which replace the 42 more than 40-year-old DT1 series married-pair units on the U1 line, which the only one operated by drivers (in contrast to the U2 and U3 lines).

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In November 2015 Nuremberg’s public transport operator VAG (Verkehrs-Aktiengesellschaft Nürnberg) awarded an order to Siemens AG to supply 21 G1-type metro trains. The order includes two options for a further six and seven trains executed in 2018 and 2019.

The focus in procuring the new fleet was on passenger comfort and an optimized passenger flow. The vehicle design was elaborated in close collaboration with VAG and the design agency ergon3design. The bright and friendly design of the entire interior area, with its generous multifunction areas, creates a subjective sense of safety and guarantees a pleasant ride. Innovative light signals to show door status, wider doors and an end-to-end passenger area improve passenger flow. For the drivers, too, attention was paid to ensuring a high level of workplace comfort: the driver’s cabin is set up to enable the driver to operate the train either standing or sitting. The rolling stock is designed for manual operation. For a future expansion to fully automated operation, spaces and interfaces for the necessary AGT systems have already been considered in the vehicle design and the driver’s cabs can be dismantled.

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Operation on line 1

With a total of 18.5 kilometers and 27 stations (out of a total of 48 stations in the Nuremberg / Fürth area), the U1 line is used on weekdays by many commuters and schoolchildren in particular. Passenger numbers also rise sharply, especially at major events such as the Nuremberg Christmas Market and during trade fairs.

Stockholm: The C30 for the Tunnelbana

Stockholm’s so-called Tunnelbana – this is what the Swedish capital calls its metro – also launched new metros. The first vehicles of the new C30 series, manufactured by Bombardier Transportation in Hennigsdorf near Berlin, arrived in Stockholm in 2018. The trains were approved for passenger service in June 2019, followed by further tests to ensure operational readiness for the SL network. After the start of trial operation at the end of June / beginning of July 2020 on the so-called red line, all trains are to be delivered by June 2022.

The new Stockholm metro C30: Note the illuminated “LED collar” I © UTM

In June 2013, Bombardier Transportation received an order from SL to deliver the Stockholm public transport authority for new 96 Movia metr vehicles with the local designation C30. The contract includes an option for up to 80 additional vehicles. The firm order is valued at around SEK 5.1 billion (EUR 590 million, US $ 771 million).

The vehicles are characterized by a specific exterior and interior design and are equipped with a range of innovative and energy-saving technologies. These include the Flexx Eco bogies with internal bearings and the Bombardier Mitrac drive system.

Each four-car train has a driver’s cab at each end, seating for 140 passengers in the four-by-four seating configuration with additional seats along the vehicles’ sides, as well as standing areas and multi-purpose spaces to optimize comfort, capacity and passenger flow. Three bi-parting sliding doors per side per car, speed up entry and exit at stations. The air-conditioned cars meet the highest environmental standards for energy consumption and are constructed from materials which are 98 per cent recyclable. The proven Bombardier Mitrac propulsion system from Västerås in Sweden and the energy-efficient Bombardier Flexx Eco bogies contribute towards reducing maintenance costs and increasing the energy efficiency of the trains, while further enhancing the passenger experience by minimizing noise and providing a smooth, comfortable ride.

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The MOVIA C30 metro for Stockholm won Bombardier the coveted Good Design ® award in January 2017. The award recognized the metro vehicle’s striking exterior design which is a clear expression of Scandinavian style that will become an unmistakable city icon.

The 750V dc third rail trains are being assembled in Hennigsdorf, Germany and they are delivered to Sweden by rail to SL’s new maintenance depot in Norsborg. The carbodies are manufactured by BST, a Bombardier joint venture company in China, and the trains are equipped with the Bombardier Orbilflo remote condition monitoring technology, developed in Sweden.

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Nordic Design

The new trains are particularly characterized by their “Scandinavian” design. And by no means does “Ikea” mean quality. One of the most noticeable features of the exterior of the new Stockholm metro trains is the bespoke LED exterior lighting. This unique band of light or “collar” illuminates the frame around the windshield for the first time, both at the front and at the end of the vehicle, giving the vehicle its unmistakable character. It not only underlines its eye-catching aesthetics and Scandinavian design influences, but also clearly distinguishes the C30 as a Bombardier product. In the interior, passengers will also find a play of shapes and colors in the form of different patterns on the seat covers, hidden symbols in the ventilation grilles and the distinctive “light spots” – circular lighting – in the entrance areas.

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