DENMARK: Aarhus light rail project promoter Aarhus Letbane revealed the final designs of Denmark’s first modern light rail vehicles on June 1.

The design brief aimed to create an easily-recognisable identity ‘with clear references to the Scandinavian design tradition of stylish minimalism and high functionality.’ The ‘timeless and comfortable yet functional’ styling is ‘designed to combine elegance with practicality’.

The line is expected to open in 2017, running 12 km through the city centre from Nørreport to Lisbjerg-Lystrup via the main university campus. It will connected at both ends to the Banedanmark network, allowing tram-train services to run from Nørreport through Aarhus H to Odder (26·5 km) and north to Hornslet and Grenaa (69 km).

A fleet of 26 Stadler Rail light rail vehicles of two types has been ordered. The urban services will be worked by 13 Variobahn cars similar to those supplied to Bergen and Croydon, while the longer distance tram-train services will be operated using 13 Tango cars similar to those operating in Lyon and Stuttgart, with a maximum speed of 100 km/h and a toilet.

The two types of LRV will have a strong family resemblance, despite the differences in size and configuration, and a custom front end has been developed for the Tango, similar to that of the Variobahn. The grey livery with ‘a twist of blue’ is inspired by the city’s proximity to the sea, while the red ‘does not merely infuse colour and character’, but also highlights the doors and handrails.

The air-conditioning system will be suitable for the Danish climate, wi-fi will be fitted and the LED lights will automatically adjust to match the daylight. The seats and Hallingdal upholstery have been selected by Kvadrat and AVPD.

‘We are proud of this design, which is the result of a thorough co-operation with architects, designers, the city architect of Aarhus and the supplier of the trains, Stadler Rail’, said Claus Rehfeld Moshøj, CEO of Aarhus Letbane. ‘We have also received valuable input from an advisory board consisting of elderly and disabled people. The joint effort has resulted in a design that offers a high level of comfort and good accessibility for all passengers, whether you are a child, an adult, a daily commuter or have a disability’.

‘In combination with the tasteful colour scheme and the extensive use of quality-materials, I think it is fair to say that the dual train system for Aarhus Letbane is one of the most elegant yet functional fleet of light rail trams Stadler has ever delivered’, said Stadler Pankow Managing Director Ulf Braker.