According to the spokesman of the Pilsen city transport company René Vávra, the tram should start carrying passengers in the second half of October. “In trial operation, they have to cover 20,000 kilometers without people and the same distance with passengers,” explains Zdeněk Sváta, Vice President of Škoda Transportation.
“It is a new vehicle from scratch, a completely new concept and a new family of vehicles,” says Škoda Transportation chief designer Roman Zakopal. According to him, there is a new arrangement of cells and the concept of four chassis. “Innovative are also the increased capacity, ie better use of space in the vehicle, maximally reduced technological space and greater energy savings,” he said. The main advantage of bogies is that the wheels and tracks do not grind as much and are quieter. The materials used and the composition of the rough construction are also new.
Cars from the same ForCity X family with the Škoda 39T type designation were also ordered by Ostrava. The basic difference is that Pilsen is three-cell and Ostrava is two-cell, but with a maximized cell length. “So Ostrava will have the longest possible double cell and Pilsen the shortest possible three cell,” says Sváta.
According to Zakopal, the Ostrava tram has a capacity of 200 people with five standing passengers per square meter. The capacity of Pilsen with four chassis is only slightly higher. Pilsen ordered sixty-kilowatt engines, Ostrava one hundred-kilowatt engines.
According to Sváta, the biggest innovation is the smaller cab, which is more comfortable than the previous types, and all controls are within reach of the driver. “We tried to use the maximum length of the tram and the passage profile for passengers. We used the space much better, “says the company’s vice president.
The new body concept has reduced wall thickness. “The tram is clear, spacious and airy. We managed to put a lot of seats there and thanks to the complex construction of the chassis, they are accessible without a step, “describes Sváta. The car is also safer. The gentle front of the car would not drag pedestrians under the tram after the collision, but should bounce it aside. And there are no sharp corners that could cause severe injuries.
The advantage should also be the fact that the car is two-way and, most importantly, 100% low-floor, because it has no stairs. “Next year, we would like to get to 100% low-floor trams and we would probably be the first city in the Czech Republic to succeed. We already have it for buses and trolleybuses, “says Vávra. The transport company is to have eight new cars by the end of next year and two more in 2023. If it buys all 22 vehicles, including the option, their total price would be almost 1.3 billion crowns.
The management of Dopravní podnik Ostrava (DPO) was on Monday to inspect the first two completed out of 35 ordered cars for 1.7 billion crowns in Pilsen. “At the turn of January and February, they will be put into normal operation,” said DPO CEO Daniel Morys. According to him, this is the most modern tram in the country, which will have increased safety, high comfort for passengers and lower internal and external noise.