GERMANY: Wuppertal Mayor Andreas Mucke presented the first Generation 15 car for the city’s schwebebahn suspension monorail to a crowd of 5 000 at the Vohwinkel terminus on November 14.

‘This is a generational project that will shape our city for the next 40 years’, said Stadtwerke Wuppertal CEO Andreas Feicht. Delivery of the new car forms part of a 20-year modernisation programme.

Wuppertaler Stadtwerke signed a €122m contract with Vossloh Rail Vehicles for 31 three-car trainsets in November 2011. The cars are being assembled at the Vossloh Rail Vehicles plant in Valencia. Traction equipment is being supplied by Vossloh Kiepe from Düsseldorf, with Prose providing vehicle development and manufacturing support services for the mechanical elements. Alstom is providing Atlas 400 ETCS Level 2+ signalling, developed at its Charleroi site, under a €17m contract signed in 2012.

The trains are 24 m long, 2 200 mm wide and weigh 25 tonnes. Styled by büro+staubach, they feature a welded aluminium body, LED lighting and 46 padded wooden seats.

Dynamic testing of the new cars is due to begin in January. Operator WSW mobil expects to put the Generation 15 vehicles into service in June, with the last expected to be delivered in 2017. The 25 trainsets supplied by MAN in 1972-75 will then be retired.

To enable peak headways to be reduced to 2 min, the power supply on the 13·3 km line will be increased from 600 V to 750 V DC once the new trains enter service.