The Russian city of Magnitogorsk has taken delivery of five 71-605RM13 rebuilt high-floor trams and nine new 71-623-02.01 cars with central 40% low-floor sections ordered from NPO Gorizont and UKVZ.

Köln operator KVB has ordered a further six high-floor LRVs from Bombardier Transportation as an option on an order for 20 which was placed in 2015 after a joint procurement with Düsseldorf’s Rheinbahn. The additional vehicles announced on December 22 will increase capacity and help to maintain service quality while existing vehicles are being refurbished.


Cubic Transportation Systems and New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority have completed the deployment of the OMNY contactless payment system across all of the city’s bus routes and all 472 subway stations. Enhancements planned for this year will include reduced and, student fare options and special programmes across subway, bus, paratransit and commuter rail services. OMNY will be expanded to Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North Railroad during later phases, and will operate in parallel with the MetroCard until its retirement in 2023.

Madrid Metro sign (Pixabay)

Following approval from the city authority, Metro de Madrid announced on December 31 its intention to award a €9m, one-year contract for cleaning services on lines 2, 4 and 5, plus the Ramal shuttle and light rail route ML1. The procurement forms part of a framework package agreed with the municipality in July 2020 valued at €155m, but in light of the pandemic the scope has been extended to give greater focus to cleaning floors, escalators, and tactile surfaces. Spot cleaning of trains at stations during the operating hours has also been added.

Tyne & Wear Metro VR

Stadler is using virtual reality headsets to provide Tyne & Wear Metro drivers with an immersive experience of the cab of the future trainsets it is building. ‘The kit enables drivers to get a feel for the trains from the very early stages of the project, and means that they can prepare for them well in advance’, said Adrian Wetter, Project Manager at Stadler. ‘This ultimately saves time and resources. Furthermore, comments and observations from drivers on the experience is essential for the cab design, contributing to its overall usability and comfort.’

Bangalore metro.

Texmaco Rail & Engineering has awarded Salasar Adorus Infra a Rs2·52bn contract to design and supply 175 km of ballastless track for the Bengaluru metro.

Sustainable transport consultancy ITP is to work with the Greater Maputo Project Preparation Unit to understand why past public transport plans for Mozambique’s capital have not been successfully implemented, and to set out plans for institutional restructuring and project deliverability which would enable implementation within five years. ITP said past plans had suffered from complex institutional structures and ‘high aspirations rather than adopting a practical focus’.


The CRRC Puzhen Bombardier Transportation Systems joint venture has begun assembly of the first Innovia automated peoplemover vehicle for Hong Kong International Airport. A consortium of PBTS and CRRC Nanjing Puzhen is to supply the 2·6 km Third Runway Concourse Line airside APM under a contract awarded by the airport authority in 2017.


Moscow Metro’s Alexandra chatbot is now available on WhatsApp, Telegram and VK, as well as the metro’s own app. The chatbot provides answers to 1 200 questions, including historical notes about stations and engineering work information, and according to the metro can answer about 80% of queries. If it struggles, a 24/7 live assistant helps users in the same chat box.