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Jena GT6M trams arrive in Łódź

Two Jena trams arrived in Łódź in the morning hours of 1 October 2023 I © Pawel Kazmierczak
Two Jena trams arrived in Łódź in the morning hours of 1 October 2023 I © Pawel Kazmierczak

They have been in service since 1996 and have each covered almost two million kilometres on the tram network of Jena: the low-floor trams of the Jena local public transport system of the type GT6M, built by AEG/MAN and Adtranz with the numbers 606 and 608. According to experts, the procurement cost the Łódź public transport company about 30,000 euros per vehicle.

On 28 September, the two vehicles were loaded onto low-loaders and started their journey to Łódź (Poland). Eight more vehicles of the series will follow in the next few months to Łódź, where used vehicles from Germany have already had a certain tradition for decades. The first GT6’s came from Bielefeld in 1990. They were followed in 2006 and 2009 by GT6 and GT8 trams of various types from Freiburg/ Breisgau, Innsbruck, Mannheim and Helsinki, with only the last 10 GT8Ns in sporadic use today. Among the latest procurements from Germany are the 35 MGT6D low-floor railcars of BoGeStra from Bochum-Gelsenkirchen and 14 modernised M8Cn from Bielefeld equipped with low-floor centre sections. Four more Bielefeld M8C are currently being converted to M8Cn as well. The originally planned procurement of 11 GT6M from Augsburg did not work out.

The procurement from Jena is particularly important for MPK Łódź: only just under a quarter of the total of 500 vehicles have low-floor access and funding for new procurements is scarce.

Both trams made the 650 km journey from Jena to Łódź on a low-loader I © Pawel Kazmierczak
More of Jena’s first GT6M series trams will go to Poland – here no. 603 at the city centre in Jena in April 2023 I © Budach

In Jena, the GT6Ms are currently being successively phased out. In the coming years, the generation of 33 GT6M low-floor trams will be replaced by new Tramlink vehicles. We reported here. The new trams, called light trams, will be manufactured by Stadler in Valencia/Spain. The first new light tram is scheduled to start regular service in Jena this year.

The former Jena tram no. 608 in the main workshop of MPK Łódź in Telefoniczna I © Pawel Kazmierczak