A MAJOR renewal of the U-Bahn fleet in Frankfurt-am-Main was announced on March 15. Mayor Petra Roth said the city was investing in the future.

VGF has ordered 146 Flexity Swift high-floor LRVs from Bombardier for €300m, with options for 24 more. Due for delivery between 2008 and 2015, the Series U5 cars will replace older stock on Lines U1, U2 and U3, and work extensions to Ginnheim and Riedberg. Bombardier supplied 65 Flexity Classic Series S trams to VGF in 2002.

The 25m long air-conditioned vehicles will come in two variants. There will be 54 double-ended cars (U5-25) with capacity for 48 seated and 130 standing passengers, plus six folding seats in the wheelchair/pram area. The rest will run as 46 close-coupled pairs (U5-50) with wide inter-car gangways, 104 seats and room for 258 standees.

VGF has already started rebuilding its U-Bahn stations to standardise platform heights at 800mm above rail, giving level boarding into the Series U5 and U4 cars.