Magdeburg Alstom Flexity tram impression (Image Alstom DesignandStyling)

GERMANY: Magdeburg transport authority MVB has awarded Alstom a contract to supply Flexity trams featuring a ‘unique and timeless’ design specifically developed for the city.

The order for an initial 35 vehicles is valued at €190m including the supply of spare parts for 24 years. There are options for up to 28 additional cars.

Due to enter service in 2024, the Flexity trams will replace older Tatra vehicles and the city’s first low-floor cars dating from the 1990s. The order will increase the overall fleet by 10 trams to handle increasing passenger numbers and support route extensions related to the second North-South Link project.

Magdeburg tram contract signing

The four-section trams will be 38 m long, 8 m longer than MVB’s current vehicles, with capacity for 241 passengers; each will have two multi-purpose areas with space for pushchairs, bicycles and wheelchairs. There will be wide, barrier-free entrances for fast boarding, and while broad window strips running the length of the vehicle to fill the passenger area with natural light. LED light strips will improve the visibility of the trams for other road users. The trams will be air-conditioned, with a noise-optimised design for quiet operation. Free wi-fi will be provided.

The cabs will feature a newly designed driver’s console to ensure a large field of vision, while a driver assistance system will assists with detecting obstacles.

A full-scale mockup of part of a tram is due to be produced to obtain user feedback ahead of the start of production.

‘The Flexity impresses with its unmistakably dynamic and modern appearance’, said Müslüm Yakisan, President of Alstom in Germany, Austria & Switzerland, when the order was announced on June 30. ‘It will leave a lasting mark on the cityscape. But more importantly, passengers can look forward to the highest levels of ride comfort, safety, and reliability.’

The Land of Sachsen-Anhalt is contributing €60m towards the cost. ‘The new trams are barrier-free and offer more space for passengers’, said Transport Minister Thomas Webel. ‘MVB is thus making a sustainable investment in attractive public transport for the people of this city. We are supporting this major project with funding, as we are certain that the transformation of transport can only succeed if we work together.’