CZECH REPUBLIC: Škoda Transportation has unveiled proposals to develop a fully low-floor, three-section tram for use in Praha.

Designated 15T and branded ForCity, the unidirectional cars are destined to form a key element in the renewal of the Czech capital's tram fleet. Around 250 vehicles are to be delivered to Praha operator Dphmp over the period 2009-17, in line with the the operator's previously-announced plans (RG 8.06 p434). However, it seems that the 15T model has emerged as the preferred model for bulk production, rather than the Porsche-designed 14T, of which Dphmp is current taking delivery of 60 vehicles.

The 15T has been designed to cope with steep gradients and is electronically limited to 60 km/h. Door heights are 320 mm above rail height, and the interior will have wheelchair space and level gangways between sections. Internal floor height ranges between 350 mm and 450 mm, and a mechanical ramp can be deployed to give mobility-impaired users access from street level.

Škoda is seeking feedback from potential passengers about the tram's interior, particularly over the choice between seat moquette and vandal-proof wood. An online poll is to be launched on the company's website to gauge reaction. Three prototype cars are to be built, and the manufacturer hopes to exhibit one at the InnoTrans exhibition in September.