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Jena: The first “Lichtbahn” tram has arrived!

© Ronny Dauer

The first new tramway with the vehicle number 801, locally called “Lichtbahn”, arrived in Jena last night – on 5 May 2023. The tram, which was shipped in two parts on two heavy transporters, is now being unloaded and assembled at the depot of Jena’s public transport system. It is the first of a total of twelve trams that will start their journey to Thuringia this year from the Stadler Valencia manufacturing plant.

Arrival at night | © Olaf Buhler
© Olaf Buhler

The first light rail vehicle is expected to start regular service in the third quarter of 2023. Before that, all the necessary functional tests and approval procedures will take place. In addition, the drivers have to be trained.

The arrival of the first light rail is a long-awaited milestone. Therefore, here are the first photos of the new vehicle with a length of 42 metres.

The milestones in the course of the project:

  • September 2021: Design presentation of the light railway
  • November 2021: Start of construction of track infrastructure
  • December 2021: Start of light runway shell construction in Valencia
  • Spring 2023: Delivery of the first light runway
  • Spring/summer 2023: Start of test/trial operation
  • Autumn 2023: Start of regular operation on line 5

The delivery order for the metre-gauge trams from Stadler includes two different vehicle lengths: 16 vehicles are of seven-section design with a vehicle length of 42 metres. There are four spaces for wheelchair users in the three multifunctional areas. There is also space for prams and bicycles. Eight vehicles are designed as five-section trams with a vehicle length of 32 metres. In addition, a future increase of the order by another nine vehicles has been agreed with the manufacturer as an option.

The shorter version has two multifunctional areas with four wheelchair spaces. The low-floor vehicles are equipped with five or six doors on each side. The modern customer information system is visible from every seat. The customised design improves accessibility for persons with reduced mobility and guarantees safety and comfort for passengers and drivers alike.

The procurement of the trams is being funded with ERDF funds from the 2014-2020 funding period and state funds.

© Stadtwerke Jena; A. Tautenhahn
© Stadtwerke Jena; A. Tautenhahn
Both types of tramways currently in service: Solaris Tramino and Adtranz GT6M, here in the city centre in April 2023 | © UTM/bu

Currently, the Jena tram fleet consists of 33 ADtranz/ Bombardier GT6M built between 1996 and 2003 and 5 Solaris Tramino trams built in 2013. Some of the GT6M will be replaced by the 24 new trams. We reported about the new tram here: https://www.urban-transport-magazine.com/en/jena-design-of-the-new-stadler-tramway-presented/ .

(Info: Stadtwerke Jena GmbH)