GERMANY: Düsseldorf light rail operator Rheinbahn has started testing new ticket vending machines on its trams.

The operator is purchasing 263 TVMs for its trams and LRVs at a cost of €4·4m. Dortmund-based ICA Traffic is installing the machines at Rheinbahn’s main workshop, and is also supplying the back-office software.

Rheinbahn is testing five prototypes in NF8 trams ahead of the start of series installation in mid-February. The TVMs will then be installed in its B80 light rail vehicles, before the rest of the NF8 fleet is equipped, along with the NF10 trams, and finally NF6 vehicles. The HF6 LRVs that Bombardier is due to start supplying this year will come with the TVMs already fitted.

The five prototypes are being trialled with the assistance of onboard ‘scouts’ from city employment agency ZWD. For around three weeks, the scouts will observe passengers’ use of the TVMs, and will help passengers and ask about their experiences. Passenger feedback will be used in the design of the hardware and software of the series-produced machines.