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New Flexity tram for Berlin nearing completion

BVG board members were given a first look at the new Berlin Flexity trams during a technical tour of the Alstom site in Bautzen I © Rolf Erfurt

On 15 December 2020, BVG placed an order for the delivery of up to 117 new bidirectional vehicles with what was then Bombardier Transportation, which became part of the French Alstom Group just over a month later (in January 2021).

The first new Flexity tram has been doing its rounds on the manufacturer’s test track in Bautzen, Saxony, for a few weeks now. According to a LinkedIn post, the vehicle was presented to the BVG board and other BVG managers in Bautzen a few days ago. The first vehicle is expected to be delivered to Berlin this summer.

Berlin’s longest trams

This is the longest tram ever built for Berlin. The new nine-car Flexity with a low-floor ratio of 100% has a length of 50 metres and is intended to replace the GT6 double traction units on the M4 line, which is in high demand. Of the framework agreement for 117 New Flexity trams, 82 five-car 30-metre and 35 nine-car 50-metre vehicles were originally to be delivered. According to experts, BVG has decided to convert the order for the 30-metre trams into 41 60-metre trams. However, this step has not yet been confirmed.

Why a ‘new’ Flexity?

Bombardier Transportation (now Alstom) delivered a total of 231 Flexity low-floor trams in two lengths (five-car units with a length of 30.8 metres and seven-car units with a length of 40 metres) between 2008 and 2022 to BVG. As the technology and production methods were very similar to the Adtranz Incentro, which was developed in the late 1990s and early 2000s, it was now time for a new generation of vehicles that would stand out from its predecessors both mechanically and electrically as well as in terms of interior and exterior design. Although not many details are yet known about the new vehicle platform, it is rumoured to be a new development.

Exterior design of the nine-module variant | © Alstom Group

A 1:1 mock-up model of the New Flexity was already shown at several BVG locations in 2021. The renewed nose is particularly striking, but there are also some innovations in terms of mechanics and interior. These include:

  • 900 mm wide centre aisle in the first modules, thanks to a new bogie development
  • No side ramps above the chassis
  • New illuminated interior ceiling with daylight-dependent lighting
  • New seat design and more comfortable seats and increased seat spacing
  • The window divisions are designed so that passenger no longer sit in front of a window strut
  • Mirrors replaced by exterior cameras
  • Improved ergonomics in the driver’s cab
The new layout of the multi purpose area I © BVG / LinkedIn profile Rolf Erfurt
Mock up of the new BVG Flexity generation in October 2021 at the Köpenick depot | © UTM

We reported on the order here: