Photo: Achim Uhlenhut

GERMANY: Assembly of the first TW3000 high-floor light rail vehicles ordered by Hannover transport operator Üstra has begun at the HeiterBlick factory in Leipzig. The first vehicles will be delivered to Hannover later this year for testing, with revenue services likely to commence in early 2014.

In April 2011 Üstra ordered 50 TW3000 vehicles from a consortium of Vossloh Kiepe and Alstom Transport for €126m, with an option for 96 more. The initial order is due to be delivered by the end of 2015.

The bi-directional articulated vehicles will have six axles, of which four are powered by 125 kW drive motors, giving a maximum speed of 80 km/h. The vehicles are 25 m long, 2 650 mm wide and 3 750 mm high with 54 seats, including eight folding seats. The steel bodyshells are being built in Salzgitter by Bozankaya and painted in Grimma before being fitted with glass reinforced plastic fronts. Alstom is supplying the bogies and Vossloh Kiepe is providing electrical equipment.

The vehicles will initially run on routes 3 and 7, with the possibility of running on routes 4, 5, 8 and 18 in the future.