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First Bodyshell For New Dresden Flexity

posted on 9th Dec 2020 17:02

On 9 December 2020, the first bodyshell of the first of 30 Flexity trams for Dresdner Verkehrsbetriebe (DVB) was accepted by the operator at the Bombardier Görlitz works, where its assembly started in August this year. The final assembly of the new trams will take place at Bautzen from February 2021. The new five-car Flexity is designated NGT DX DD. NGT stands for “Niederflurgelenktriebwagen” (low-floor articulated railcar), D for vehicle fitted with bogies ("Drehgestellfahrzeug"), X for ten axles and DD for Dresden. 

The underframe is made of high-strength stainless steel. The roof and sidewalls are made of lighter, stainless steel. The front ends and their parts are welded in the Görlitz factory, the roof parts and sidewalls are produced in Bautzen and delivered from there to Görlitz.

On 22 August 2019 Bombardier had been awarded a contract by DVB for 30 Flexity trams, worth 197 million EUR, including 24 years of maintenance, there also being options for ten more trams and the maintenance period to be extended by eight years. 

The five-section partially low floor (around 65 %) Flexities will be 1,450 mm gauge, with a top service speed of 70 km/h. Of the 30 trams 21 will be uni-directional and the other nine bi-directional. All will be 43,300 mm long and 2,650 mm wide, 350 mm wider than DVB’s existing trams. This will enable the fitting of 2 + 2 seating in bays, and the provision of more space, resulting in more comfortable travelling conditions. It was possible to increase bodyshell width by modifying the cross-sectional profiles of the bodyshells above platform level. Barrier-free access for handicapped travellers is not affected by the design changes.

The bodyshells  are only wider above the edge of the platform, so that no station needs to be adapted. However, the Flexities will need more space between the tracks, for which almost 80 % of the DVB  network is already prepared. For use on Line 7, DVB still has to wait for the extension of Königsbrücker Strasse and parts of Kesselsdorf and Königsbrücker Landstrasse. Line 7 is the most frequently used tram line in Dresden.

Passenger capacity of the uni-directional trams will be 290, about a 10 % increase on that of the NGT D12 DD trams, of similar length and currently in use on the Dresden network. Interior HVAC will be provided, the passenger accommodation being illuminated by means of large panoramic windows and LEDs, and provided with two multi-purpose areas, four wheelchair harness points, a modern passenger information system, WiFi internet access and power sockets for small electronic equipment.

In January 2020, around 16,000 visitors had a closer look at the 1 : 1 model of the new tram in the Transport Museum. The DVB market research incorporated feedback from about 2,000 citizens. Some change requests led to adjustments in the interior design, for example in the choice of seats.

The uni-directional trams will have six double-leaf entrance doors on one side only, together with a single-leaf door adjacent to the cab, while the bi-directional ones will have five pairs of double-leaf entrance doors, and a single leaf door at each end, adjacent to the cabs. All trams will be fitted with Bombardier’s 3D stereo camera-based ODAS (Obstacle Detection and Assistance System), which will help to prevent collisions. 

The first new NGT DX DD tram is scheduled to arrive in Dresden in August 2021. After commissioning and various test runs on the network, it is expected to start test service with passengers in December 2021. As of 2022, a new tram is to be delivered to DVB every three weeks. These will undergo a short commissioning phase before they enter service. All new Flexities are envisaged to be delivered to DVB by autumn 2023.

The first 12 new trams will be used on Line 2 between Kleinzschachwitz and Gorbitz. As soon as the Großenhainer Straße has been extended, the following 11 vehicles will be able to operate on Line 3 between Wilder Mann and Coschütz. The two lines are among the most popular in the DVB network. In the medium term, there is a further expected use of Flexities on Line 1.

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