Focus topic: Planning and Operation
The first two Durmazlar Panorama trams have finally started to run in Olsztyn and have started passenger service on 14 June 2021. So far, the first two out of 18 trams are being operated on the tram lines 1, 2 and 3. It is in fact the first time that Turkish-built trams are entering service on a European tram network.
On 14 June 2021 journalists, city authorities with mayor Piotr Grzymowicz and representatives of the Board of Roads, Greenery and Transport as well as the operator MPK Olsztyn gathered on the tracks behind the terminal stop Dworzec Główny. After short speeches, the tram with the number 3015 was launched at 11:41 a.m. in order to set off on its first official run with passengers. At 13:26 it was joined by the second tram started operating as well. Both vehicles ran on line 2 practically until the end of the day.
18 new trams
Olsztyn has ordered trams from the Turkish manufacturer Durmazlar to service its new lines which are currently under construction. The initial order for 12 trams has been extended to 18 trams. The first tram has been delivered to Olsztyn in early 2020. We reported here. Four vehicles have already been delivered to Olsztyn until today.
A video of the new Durmazlar trams as well as of the Solaris Tramino trams can be seen here:
The five-section Turkish trams, based on the Panorama family, are 32.5 metres long, which is slightly longer than the existing three-car Tramino trams. The vehicle’s width is 2.5 m which is identical to the Tramino trams. In the widest parts of the body, 2+1 or 1+1 seating arrangement has been implemented. The Olsztyn Panorama has a capacity for 210 passengers, 40 of whom will be seated. There are six doors per side per tram, of which the first and the last are single. The tram is 100% low-floor. Each tram cost PLN 8.99 million (ca. 1.96 mio Euro).
Operation of the new trams
The first days of running the new trams were trouble-free – no breakdowns or faults were reported. The two Panoramas are now permanently included in the timetable and both can be seen on the tracks every day, including weekends. This will make it possible to send Solaris Traminos for warranty inspections after more than five years of use. At present one vehicle undergoes such an inspection at the Poznań factory, but when new Durmazlars enter service two Traminos may be serviced at the same time (all of them are to undergo this process by the end of 2022 at the latest).
During the first week of operation, the words “New Tram” will be displayed on the external Panorama displays under the name of the terminal stop. Inside the vehicle, on the passenger information screens passengers are able to see a graphic depicting the new vehicle and the inscription “You are driving Panorama – a new tram for Olsztyn”. On the external head-up displays of Turkish trams there is a specific way of presenting the line number – at one end of the vehicle it is placed on the left side, at the other on the right.
Parking of the trams
So far, vehicle deliveries from Turkey have not yet resulted in any of the trams having to spend the night under the sky, but space in the stabling bay planned for 18 trains is inevitably running out. Step by step, all Solaris trams are being overhauled. Another Solaris (3014) is still parked waiting for repairs after a collision with an SUV in 2019.
However, more trams will not fit under the roof and will have to spend the night outside the depot. There are tracks in the depot, where they could do it quite safely, and there are plans to build additional parking tracks for the increasing number of cars. Unfortunately there is no financing to build a new depot at the moment. The issue of space is becoming urgent, because the sixth Panorama is to arrive in June, and the deliveries of the next six vehicles, due to the weakening of the coronavirus pandemic, are to be accelerated and perhaps all the ordered vehicles will reach Olsztyn faster than by the end of 2021.
Picture gallery (please click to open):
Tram extensions in Olsztyn
The tram network in Olsztyn was opened at the end of 2015 and consists of a 7.5 km north-south tram line with two side branches with a length of 2 km and 1 km each. So far the three lines have been operated by 15 three-car Solaris Tramino low-floor trams. The new, 6 km extension also runs in a north-south direction and connects the center with Pieczewo in the southeast of the city. The construction costs amount to 350 million złoty (approx. 82 million euros) and are 80% financed by the European Union. After several appeals, the construction works were awarded to Polimex and Trakcja SA. in 2020.22.07.2021