Kassel tram impression

GERMANY: Kassel operator KVG has awarded Škoda Group a €88m firm order to supply 22 trams, with options for 18 more.

The bidirectional low-floor trams will be 30 m long with four doors per side, and will be equipped for working in multiple or with a trailer.

They will be among the first trams to be equipped with an anti-collision system which Škoda Group presented at the InnoTrans 2022 trade fair.

This creates a ‘virtual tunnel’ in front of the vehicle within which static and dynamic obstacles are detected. The driver is then alerted and the emergency brake activated.

LiDAR is used for 3D mapping of the surroundings within a range of 100 to 150 m horizontally and vertically. An inertial measurement unit feeds information about the tram’s movements, and a camera provides high-resolution 2D images to capture more detail.

The first of the trams is scheduled for delivery in 2026, for entry into passenger service the following year.

‘Efficient and attractive local rail transport ensures a sustainable quality of life in cities. For this we need a strong vehicle fleet’, said KVG director Dr Olaf Hornfeck when the order was announced on July 24.

‘Škoda produces well-designed and reliable trams and submitted the most cost-effective bid. This contract paves the way for the gradual modernisation of our public transport system, as this is a prerequisite for revamping mobility in Kassel and the surrounding area.’

  • A study undertaken for KVG by Intraplan Consult has found that a proposed a tram line from Reuterstraße to Harleshausen would not be viable. The benefit:cost ratio was 0·1, well below the federal funding requirements, while other transport options already exist and the requirement for street running means there would be no journey time saving.