GERMANY: The cities of Frankfurt an der Oder, Brandenburg and Cottbus have jointly awarded Škoda Transportation a €110m contract to supply 24 trams, with an option for a further 21.
The three-section unidirectional 70% low-floor ForCity Plus trams will replace existing high-floor vehicles which are nearing the end of their service lives.
All the trams will use identical technology, with the three cities having the same requirements for easy access, air-conditioning, an ‘easy-to-understand’ multi-screen information system and multifunctional spaces for pushchairs and bicycles.
However there are also various city-specific requirements, and the vehicles will be supplied in two widths.
‘Without co-operation with Cottbus and Frankfurt and without state support, we would not be able to renew our fleet’, said Jörg Vogler CEO of Brandenburg operator VBBR which has ordered four trams with an option for eight.
Christian Utuk, CEO of Frankfurt operator SVF which has ordered 13 trams, said Škoda Transportation won the tender ‘thanks to its modern vehicle concept and the implementation of basic low-floor, space utilisation and energy efficiency requirements, as well as its modern, timeless design’.
Cottbus has ordered seven trams with an option for 13. Ralf Thalmann, CEO of operator CVBB, said the city was ‘at the beginning of very dynamic development in which we face the task of shaping structural change in our region. We are convinced that with a strong tram we will provide quality public transport for everyone for several decades to come.’
Announcing the order on February 17, Škoda Transportation Senior Vice-President of Sales Zdeněk Majer said ‘it has been seven years since we made a strategic decision and began to build a growth strategy in the German market by establishing a subsidiary. This is one of the reasons why we won the unique tender for the supply of trams for three cities, which was the first time in Germany. The new order underlines the purpose of our long-term investments in developing and improving our trams, making them suitable for modern transport throughout Europe’.