Skoda introduces its first light rail vehicle at InnoTrans
The new vehicles for three German cities will begin operation next year. Production has been delayed by two years.
The Skoda Group today officially unveiled the new ForCity Smart 36T tram at InnoTrans in Berlin. Rhein Neckar Verkehr (rnv), which operates a network of tram lines in the tri-cities of Mannheim, Ludwigshafen, and Heidelberg, has ordered 80 of the vehicles. It is one of the manufacturer’s largest orders on the German market.
It is the first tram to be built in cooperation between Skoda and its Finnish subsidiary Skoda Transtech, and also the first tram with which the Skoda Group is entering the light rail vehicle industry.
The vehicle on display at InnoTrans is the prototype. The tram is based on the Artic model produced by Transtech, but it is a fundamentally new type due to several customer requests. It can be used both in urban traffic and on regional lines in three German states.
During development, Skoda focused on long-term sustainability, passenger comfort, and modern design. The tram is fully air-conditioned and offers passengers comfort up to 50 degrees Celsius.
The Skoda Group will deliver 80 vehicles to rnv – 31 thirty-meter double-articulated trams, 37 forty-meter triple-articulated trams, and twelve sixty-meter trams. The total contract value is EUR 284 million, and EUR 406 million including an option for a further 34 vehicles.
The vehicles are to be used in Baden-Wurttemberg, Hesse, and Rhineland-Palatinate. The tender was opened in March 2017 and major rolling stock manufacturers from around the world participated.
The first vehicles were due to be delivered in early 2021, but production has been delayed by two years. Representatives of rnv expressed hope today that Skoda will speed up deliveries.
Edited and translated by Lucie Trávníčková.