Sachsen tram of the future

GERMANY: The LEIWAG consortium of HeiterBlick and Kiepe Electric has been awarded a framework contract to supply up to 155 trams to city transport operators in Leipzig, Zwickau and Görlitz under the ‘Sachsen Tram of the Future’ programme.

The contract was signed on December 15, following a joint procurement process launched by the three operators in 2019.

Sachsen tram of the future contract

The programme is expected to run until 2030 and have a total value of €600m, including development costs, future options and spare parts. The operators estimate that the joint procurement will save a total of €27m in one-off costs.

The manufacturers said two-thirds of the added value for the order would be in central Germany, and almost 40% in Sachsen. The contract includes options for driver assistance systems, and a hydrogen fuel cell traction package which HeiterBlick is currently developing.

Leipzig’s LVB has confirmed an initial order for 25 trams, with options for up to 105 more. These will be 45 m long and 2 400 mm wide; they are scheduled to replace life-expired NGT8 vehicles on the 1 458 mm gauge network from 2024.

Mayor Burkhard Jung said the city’s 2030 transport strategy requires modern and attractive trams, and he was pleased that a local company had won the European tender.

Sven Sellig, Managing Director of Görlitz’s GVB, said ‘thanks to the close co-operation with our partners, we are in the fortunate position of procuring a modern, economical and innovative vehicle that is not only state-of-the-art, but also provides space for future technical innovations.’

Steve Preißner, his counterpart at Zwickau’s SVZ, said delivery of the new low-floor trams would enable the complete replacement of the remaining high floor Tatra cars, which — along with modernisation of existing vehicles — would provide a fully-accessible fleet. The joint procurement ‘is a great regional success and a good example of successful inter-municipal co-operation’, added Mayor Octavian Ursu.