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First Stadler “Lajkonik” tram delivered to Krakow – tender for 60 further trams under preparation

The first Stadler "Lajkonik" shortly before its delivery to Kraków, seen in the Stadler plant in Siedlce, Poland I © MPK Kraków

The first new Stadler low-floor tram for the Polish city of Krakow has arrived in Krakow on 12 December 2019. The brand-new tram is the first out of a new series of 50 trams which will be delivered to Krakow until the end of 2020. The new low-floor trams will replace the oldest high-floor trams which are running on the network. A tender for a further 60 low-floor trams is currently under preparation and will be finalized soon.

In January 2018, MPK Kraków and Solaris Bus & Coach and Stadler Polska JV signed a contract for the supply of 35 new trams, with an additional option of 15 trams. At the time Solaris was still active in the tram business and launched a Joint Venture with Stadler in Poland. In the meantime Solaris has been purchased by the CAF group and Stadler Polska took over Solaris’ tram activities. The first batch of 35 trams had a cost of 75 million Euros which were partly subsidized by the EU’s Operational Programme Infrastructure and Environment 2014–2020 with 125 million Polish Zloty (ca 29.9 million Euros). Another 15 trams were ordered in January 2019 for 109.1 million Zlotys (ca 25.4 million Euros), giving a price for one tram of 7.27 million Zlotys (ca 1.7 million Euros).

As there is still over 70 Konstal 105Na trams from the 1980’s and 1990’s as well as 70 of former Vienna E1 trams with c3 trailer cars produced between 1966 and 1976 in service, the transport operator and the city are urged to replace the aging rolling stock as quick as possible. In the upcoming years, a further 1 billion Zlotys (ca 233 million Euros) will be spent to purchase further low-floor trams in order to replace the last high-floor trams and to offer modern public transport to the city of Krakow.

As there is still over 70 Konstal 105Na trams from the 1980’s and 1990’s as well as 70 of former Vienna E1 trams with c3 trailer cars produced between 1966 and 1976 in service, the transport operator and the city are urged to replace the aging rolling stock as quick as possible. In the upcoming years, a further 1 billion Zlotys (ca 233 million Euros) will be spent to purchase further low-floor trams in order to replace the last high-floor trams and to offer modern public transport to the city of Krakow.

The new trams

The new Stadler trams have a length of 33.4 metres and width of 2.4 metros and they are fitted with an air conditioning system, CCTV, USB ports, interior and exterior LED lighting and a modern passenger information system comprising a voice announcement system and screens displaying the tram route. The three-section trams is running on four bogies which can fully rotate. Furthermore, the tram is fitted with a catenary free power system which allows to run a distance of 3 km without external supply. There are 82 passenger seats and space for 139 standees.

Design and a special name

The new tram has been named Lajkonik which is one of the unofficial symbols of the city of Kraków. It is a breaded man resembling a Tatar with a hat, dressed in Mongol-style clothed on a wooden horse. Lajkonik is the main topic of the Lajkonik festival which takes place every year on the first Thursday after the religious holiday Corpus Christi in June.

The legend dates back to the Tartar invasion in 1287 when the Tartars, a Turkish ethic group from the Ural-Volga region, tried to conquer Kraków but they were discovered earlier by the defenses. The raftsmen then took the Tartar horses and clothes and rode back to the city of Kraków where they were celebrated. To commemorate the event, a raftsman dressed as the Tartar Khan enters the city once a year ever since.

The Lajkonik is also to be found on the seats of the new Stadler tram as well as on the latest Pesa and Bombardier trams as well as in the modernised vehicles. It is also found in white at the exterior of the blue vehicle.

The Lajkonik is the second „local“ tram name in Krakow. The 36 low-floor trams from Pesa are named „Krakowiak“ which is a folk dance from Krakow. Pesa names its rolling stock products partly after dances such as „Swing“, „Twist-Step“ and „Jazz“.

New tender

In the meantime, MPK Kraków launched another tender for the supply of another 60 low-floor trams. In September 2019, it was communicated that the consortium of Stadler Polska and Środa was the only bidder. The tender specifies the delivery of 32 meter long trams which are likely to be similar to the currently delivered Lajkonik. However, a contract has not been signed yet. With this series, most of the Konstal and Vienna trams will be likely to be put to of service by 2022 or 2023. Nevertheless, the modernized Vienna and Nürnberg trams which have been extensively modernized with low-floor centre-sections, new interior and electric systems.

MPK’s rolling stock today

MPK Kraków currently operates 27 tram lines and 152 bus lines. The tram network has a length of 102 km. The tram network is operated with a total of 394 trams consisting in:

  • 70 105Na/b/D, Konstal, built from 1979 – 1992
  • 1 405N-Kr, Konstal/ Protram, built in 2011/12
  • 14 Bombardier NGT6, built in 1998 – 1999
  • 36 Bombardier NGT6-2, built in 2001 – 2007
  • 24 Bombardier NGT8, built in 2012 – 2014
  • 36 2014N Krakowiak, built by Pesa in 2014 – 2015
  • 1 126N, built in 2012 by Newag, tested in Kraków since 2013/ 2016, in daily service
  • 14 Düwag GT8S, ex Düsseldorf, built in 1973 – 1976 – this series is currently being converted into GT8C with low-floor centre-section
  • 2 Düwag GT8C, ex Düsselforf, built in 1973 – 1976, modernized with Chopper electronics by MPK Kraków
  • 12 GT8N, ex Düsseldorf, built in 1973 – 1976, , modernized with Chopper electronics by MPK Kraków
  • 1 N8S-NF, ex Essen, built by Düwag in 1975, modernized and fitted with a low-floor centre section by Protram
  • 4 N8S-NF, ex Nürnberg, built by MAN/ Düwag 1976 – 1977, fitted with low-floor centre section in 1992 – 1993
  • 7 N8C-NF, ex Nürnberg, built by MAN/ Düwag 1976 – 1977, fitted with low-floor centre section in 1992 – 1993, modernized by MPK Krakow
  • 70 E1, ex Vienna, built by SGP/ Lohner in 1966 – 1976
  • 59 c3 trailer cars, ex Vienna, built by SGP/ Lohner in 1966 – 1976
  • 40 EU8N, ex Vienna, made from E6 motor and C6 trailer cars, built by Rotex in 1979, modernized and fitted with low-floor centre section by MPK Kraków in 2011 – 2015
15.12.2019

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