SIEMENS has won an order for 21 Combino Classic 100% low-floor trams to run in the Swiss capital. Transport authority Bernmobil will use the vehicles on Line 9 to Wabern and on the 6·8 km Tram Bern West project that was approved in August after extensive revision of earlier proposals.

Announced on November 7, the €65m order represents the first contract for the re-engineered Combino Classic design. Siemens has rebuilt as many as 475 Combino trams with reinforcing and load-reducing elements following the discovery that high torsion forces in the articulation elements of the original design were causing damage to the bolted aluminium bodyshells; 15 rebuilt trams have returned to service in Bern.

The new air-conditioned cars will all be delivered by the end of 2010; each will be 42 m long and 2 300 mm wide.

Siemens Transportation Systems President Hans Schabert said that the order was 'a demonstration of the confidence that our customers have in our competence in trams and tramway systems. Owing to the successful modification of the Combino, Siemens now possesses comprehensive expertise in the field of 100% low-floor trams.'