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Will Rheinbahn Düsseldorf and DVG Duisburg purchase 91 new high-floor trams from Siemens?

The Rheinbahn wants to purchase 91 new HFx light rail vehicles. This is what the new vehicles want to look like I © Design Büro + Staubach

Düsseldorf’s public transport operator Rheinbahn is continuing to modernise its vehicle fleet: At its meeting at the beginning of September, the Rheinbahn Supervisory Board approved the award of an order for the delivery of a total of 91 new-generation HFx light rail vehicles (HF standing for high floor). At the same time, a spare parts supply contract shall be concluded for a period of 24 years. The order has a net volume of around 340 million euros. The delivery of the vehicles is planned for the years 2025 to 2027. Since the procurement is carried out jointly with the Duisburger Verkehrsgesellschaft (DVG), the manufacturer of the vehicles can only be announced for reasons of public procurement law after the committee decision in Duisburg, which is scheduled for the end of September. According to press reports (https://rp-online.de/nrw/staedte/duesseldorf/rheinbahn-duesseldorf-neue-stadtbahnen-fuer-340-millionen-euro-bestellt_aid-53112049?fbclid=IwAR04ws4mxBnclJRJEitFMbnFbdhvh2sui-SUGzPu) the sleeted supplier is Siemens. This is in so far surprising as Rheinbahn is currently commissioning a fleet of 59 so-called HF6 light rail vehicles. However Bombardier has not met the delivery timelines.

High comfort for up to 178 passengers

Let’s come back to the new HFx fleet whose design seems to be somewhat based on the current HF6 vehicles. The modern trains will be used on all high-floor light rail lines. They replace the red and white B80-Alu trams, some of which are 35 years old. Nevertheless, the HFx trains will differ noticeably from the known vehicles. The couplers in the front will be entire closed in order to be visually appealing, but primarily serve to protect passers-by. Driver assistance systems such as electronic collision warning systems will trigger active braking in an emergency in order to minimise the consequences of an accident in the event of a collision.

Picture gallery (please click to open):

The vehicle also impresses with a bright and inviting design and a well thought-out interior. A maximum of 178 passengers can be accommodated in it. Two multifunctional areas offer enough space for wheelchairs, strollers or bicycles, for example. With a suitable hearing aid, passengers can hear all announcements in top quality via inductive hearing loops. Four monitors embedded in the ceiling are also part of the infotainment package, as are USB sockets distributed in the seating areas for charging smartphones or other technical devices. All vehicles will be capable of providing WiFi. A special lighting concept ensures direct, clear illumination of the door areas, while the seating areas are illuminated indirectly, thus creating a pleasant atmosphere.

In addition to the 91 vehicles that have been firmly ordered, Rheinbahn has an option for up to 42 additional vehicles.

Interior view of the HFx I © Design Büro + Staubach

“Predecessor” series HF6 not yet in operation

59 so-called HF6 trams by Bombardier are currently being commissioned. KVB Cologne receives 20 similar vehicles. Due to delivery delays, the HF6 vehicles have not yet passenger service. So far, the new vehicles have only been approved for driving school trips for traffic in Düsseldorf. We reported here:

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