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Cologne: KVB confirms large order of new low-floor tramways

© Alstom

The Cologne Public Transport Authority (Kölner Verkehrs-Betriebe AG, KVB) has signed a contract with the manufacturer consortium Alstom and Kiepe Electric for the supply of 64 low-floor tramways. The order for the new Citadis type trams with special adaptations for the German market is worth 363 million euros. Alstom’s share amounts to 60% of the total value of the contract.

Alstom is leading a consortium with partner Kiepe Electric, a subsidiary of Knorr-Bremse AG, the global that will build the new trams for KVB. The first pre-series vehicles will be delivered to Cologne at the end of 2023. The series vehicles will follow one year later at the end of 2024. The contract also includes some options for a total of 47 additional vehicle units. Alstom, as consortium leader, will produce 62 modern low-floor vehicles (60-meter long trains) and two low-floor vehicles with a length of around 30 meters at its Barcelona plant. The options include 11 long trains and another 25 of the shorter, 30-meter version.

Design study of the 60 meters long trainsets | © Alstom

The electrical components of the trams will be supplied by Kiepe Electric’s Düsseldorf plant and will also be installed in the trams in Barcelona. The bogies for the Citadis trams will come from Alstom’s Le Creusot plant in France. The new tramscars will have large windows, LEDs for pleasant soft lighting, large individual seats and travel information on large screens. The equipment also includes innovations such as driver assistance systems, automatic dipped beam and rain sensors. The trams each consist of two 30-metre low-floor vehicle units and thus have a total length of 60 metres, offering space for 195 passengers. 10 double doors on each side ensure an improved passenger flow into the tram way. Especially for the German market, the trams will have pivoting bogies for maximum vehicle flexibility and steel car bodies.

Drive-, on-board- and control technology as well as traction converters are from Kiepe Electric, the trams will have reliable and modern electrical technology. As a contribution to traffic safety in the metropolis of Cologne, the new railways will be equipped with a collision warning system. Other components of the new trams will be the hydraulic braking systems from Knorr-Bremse, Munich, entrance systems from IFE, Kematen, and innovative air-conditioning technology from MERAK, Vienna.

The new trams will replace 124 of the existing series K4000 tramcars supplied to Cologne by Bombardier between 1996 and 2002. The operator KVB wants to operate coupled pairs of a long and short tramcar with a total length of 90 meters on its line 1 once the option of additional vehicles has been executed.

Older low-floor trams of K4000 series will be replaced. They usually run in coupled pairs | © UTM/bud
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