Saturday, 6 June 2020

Metrodecker EV's for Routes 23 & C3 in London

Optare, one of the UK’s largest bus manufacturers whose Parent company is Ashok Leyland and part of the UK based Hindjua Group, is partnering with Tower Transit Group in the launch of 2 new electric routes in London with the supply of 37 Metrodecker double deck EVs.

The buses will be used on routes 23 and C3 and will operate out of the operator’s Westbourne Park garage in the North West of the Capital. Routes C3 and 23 will be Tower Transit’s first battery electric operation.

The Metrodecker EV, is designed and built at Optare’s facility in Sherburn, near Leeds. Building on more than a decade’s experience in EV buses, Optare launched a prototype in 2016 and following extensive trials in London and in a number of cities across the UK, the company launched its second generation bus in 2018. The Metrodecker EV entered service in summer 2019

Tower Transit’s order is the third major contract for the Metrodecker EV in just over a year, and the second order for the capital. By the end of 2020, 100 units of the bus will be in service. The Metrodecker EV’s class leading range, capacity and efficiency has delivered this growth. Optare continues to invest in developing electric vehicles with the aim to be at the forefront of this technology.

Optare’s Chief Executive Officer Graham Belgum, said “I am proud to see the Metrodecker EV consolidate its position in London with a second order on a further two routes. This commitment is testament to the capability of the vehicle. The partnership with Tower Transit has been developed through the tender process and we are now working closely together to deliver the customer’s specification. We look forward to a successful roll out later this year.”

Tower Transit Group’s Engineering Director, Satnam Cheema, said, “Tower Transit’s win of routes 23 and C3 was based on a comprehensive study of EV operations and the technology available. We were impressed by the performance of the Metrodecker EV demonstrator during trials. The bus also enhanced our bid by offering a straightforward charging solution at our Westbourne Park garage. We are confident of a successful launch and we intend to use the experience gained to win further EV routes in London.”

Both routes are planned to launch in the 3rd Quarter of 2020. 37 Metrodecker EVs will save more than 1,800 tonnes in greenhouse gas emissions  in each year of operation versus a Euro 6 bus. 

Optare says the Metrodecker EV delivers a “class leading range, capacity and efficiency.” A 150-mile range in winter conditions is claimed, along with a three-hour battery replenishment time with fast charging. ZF’s AVE 130 hub motor drive axle is used. Passenger capacity is a maximum of 96.

Full specifications can be seen here

Friday, 5 June 2020

Bid to Open a Stretch of Devon Railway Line

Two Devon MPs are asking the Government to fund a study into reconnecting a stretch of railway to the main network half a century after it closed.

They want to find out if it would be possible to restore network services to Goodrington and Churston stations between Paignton and Brixham, which are on part of a line currently used by a heritage steam railway.

Torbay MP Kevin Foster and Totnes MP Anthony Mangnall joined forces to submit an expression of interest after Torbay Council decided not to go forward with the idea.

The Government invited bids for schemes to bring back services at stations which were closed during the Beeching era of cuts.

The former Great Western Railway branch line from Paignton to Kingswear through Goodrington and Churston was officially closed by British Rail in 1972.

It was sold to the Dart Valley Railway and the seven-mile line is now run by the Dartmouth Steam Railway and River Boat Company.

It is popular with tourists and provides a link from Paignton to a ferry crossing from Kingswear over the River Dart to Dartmouth.

Goodrington Station is a stop on the heritage line and is near Goodrington Sands and Quay West water park, close to a large car park.

Mr Foster said he wanted to see if it would be feasible to create a parkway-style station at Goodrington as an alternative to the station in Paignton town centre.

He said it would allow commuters and leisure users easier access to the Riviera Line rail link to Torquay, Newton Abbot and Exeter.

It would also take passengers straight to the beach and leisure facilities at Goodrington, which would be an economic boost for the area.

Restoring network services to Churston would mean a rail link near Brixham after the closure of the branch line.

Mr Foster said he was disappointed that the council decided not to submit an expression of interest to the Government.

He said successful bids would get funding to cover the costs of a study, and it only took him and Mr Mangnall two hours to fill in the forms.

Mr Foster said: “The track is still there, but it would have to be brought up to Network Rail standards.

“I don’t doubt there are challenges, but this has been an aspiration talked about for years.

“The minister was really excited about some of the ideas put forward. Let’s at least get the funding for the study, and find out if it is viable.”

Mr Foster said he would like to see the year-round service restored as long as it fitted in with the heritage railway using the line.

In January the Government announced £500million for the reopening of closed rail links called the Restoring Your Railway Fund.

Councils and communities were invited by the Government to submit bids for a share of an initial £300,000 ideas fund to develop proposals.

The Beeching cuts in the 1960s, named after British Rail chief Dr Richard Beeching, ended passenger services on around a third of the rail network.

More than 2,300 stations were closed and up to 5,000 miles of track went out of use across the UK.

The Government has also announced a new round of its New Stations Fund.

Torbay Council is intending to put in a bid for a new station at Edginswell, on the main line between Newton Abbot and Torre.

A total of £20million is available under the scheme.

Thursday, 4 June 2020

Isle of Wight Railway Plans Move Closer - Government Funds Awarded

Following the announcement that Class 484 Vivarail Trains are to be operated on the Isle of Wight here, the island has been selected as one of ten areas to receive a share of Restoring Railways Fund.

As a result, old rail routes to Ventnor and Newport could be re-opened, as part of ambitious plans to restore routes lost to the Beeching cuts.

Transport secretary, Grant Shapps has announced that the Island is among the successful bids in the the government's fund.

The Isle of Wight's MP has welcomed the news, saying although "there are also some substantial issues which would need to be resolved to enable the return of railway services to Ventnor, these are not insurmountable."

The plan is to reopen railway lines, including those closed during the 1960s. 

 Map showing the original network of rail lines on the island

The bid, submitted by the Isle of Wight Council and sponsored by Island MP Bob Seely, proposed two schemes:

• extension of the existing Island Line service (Ryde-Shanklin) south of Shanklin to reach Ventnor, calling at Wroxall

• integration with, and extension of, the existing Isle of Wight Steam Railway route to provide passenger services through Smallbrook from Ryde to Newport

Leader of the Isle of Wight Council, Councillor Dave Stewart, said: "We have been able to convince the government to support us in taking forward plans to enable investment on the Island.

"The potential to have an extended railway service on the Island is very real, and could have a transformational impact on our public transport provision.

"We also welcome the opportunity to explore how a train route into Newport could play an integral role in our plans for the regeneration of Newport Harbour.

“I would like to thank our officers for their tremendous work so far in support of this initiative, and we look forward to working with local stakeholders over the coming months to explore how these plans can be progressed.”

Class 483 electric multiple units run on the island. They were originally built as 1938 tube stock units for London Underground. 
It is has been announced that they will be
replaced by Class 484 Vivarail trains.

A bid was put in in March to bring back trains to Newport and Ventnor

Department for Transport officials will now work with the council to agree the focus of the work and the funding which will be required, and on what timescales.

The Isle of Wight MP welcomed the possibility of restoring the routes but warned it would not be easy.

Bob Seely said: "If we were able to see rail services restored to Newport and Ventnor, these towns (and the surrounding areas) would immediately benefit from improved connectivity. Working with the council and others, I will do all I can to see these aspirations become a reality.

“However, we must also be realistic about the logistical challenges we face in seeing these routes restored."

Wednesday, 3 June 2020

Two Postings Today - First Bus Live-track Bus Capacity & NEBus Announcements

See our postings below for more news from First Bus regarding their new Live-track Bus Capacity Measures and the Next Phase of NEbus Arrangements to Deal with Crisis.

Next Phase of NEbus Arrangements to Deal with Crisis

Since Monday 1 June, bus services across the North East of England have started to be increased, but operators are still running emergency timetables that reflect the current challenges of reduced demand and social distancing requirements due to the coronavirus crisis.

Through NEbus, the North East Bus Operators’ Association, weekly conference calls have been taking place between the region’s main bus operators and Local Authority Officials to ensure that the bus network is co-ordinated and responds in line with the demands of the region.

 NEbus members are Arriva, Go North East, Stagecoach, Stanley Travel and A-Line coaches.

For the past three weeks, bus operators have been in consultation with Local Authorities on changes to step timetables up that reflect emerging demand and a forward look towards what ‘normal’ patterns of service might look like in the future.

Some late notice feedback was received from members of the Tyne and Wear Transport Sub Committee on Thursday and this has also been accommodated.

Through NEbus, the region’s bus operators have also agreed to accept each other’s return, day and season tickets on common sections of route during the crisis. This has been in place for the past nine weeks and is continuing into this next phase.

The available capacity on all public transport is currently reduced owing to social distancing, so customers are encouraged to only travel when they need to and ideally adjust their journeys to quieter times of the day. They are also asked to pay using a contactless bankcard or buy tickets in advance on bus operators’ apps, if at all possible, and promptly take a seat when boarding, sit apart and observe the ‘stand back’ two-metre line from drivers when alighting.

‘Bus full’ signs will be displayed on the front of buses once they reach the temporary limits, but bus operators are monitoring timetables daily and working to provide extra capacity, where possible, to keep these situations to a minimum. Enhanced cleaning regimes are also in place.

Martijn Gilbert, Chair of NEbus, said: “By working together the region’s bus operators and Local Authorities have been able to move fast and work collaboratively to deliver the best possible response during these unprecedented times.

“Co-ordinating timetable change dates, collecting feedback on key worker journeys, sharing best practice and enabling the mutual acceptance of tickets has helped optimise the local bus network.

“This ever strengthening partnership approach will be key to facing the challenges ahead in delivering the best possible bus services to get people to work, education, retail, leisure and more, as well as supporting jobs and the economy with bus companies being major employers themselves.”

Full timetable and service information can be found on each bus operators’ website.

Lead NEbus members are Arriva, Go North East, Stagecoach, Stanley Travel and A-Line coaches.

The operating areas and Local Authorities involved are Nexus, Northumberland, County Durham and the Tees Valley Combined Authority.

↓ Also see our posting below today about FirstBus Live-track bus capacity 

First Bus Announces app Update to Live-track bus capacity

First Bus is launching an update to its mobile app that will enable customers across the UK to live track not only the location of their next bus but also its available capacity, as the operator continues to develop ways to help customers social distance on board its fleet.

First Bus will be the first major bus operator to roll out live capacity tracking. This reduces uncertainty for customers and allows them to make informed decisions about their essential journeys. 

Going live this week, the app update will show customers a bus icon on a map depicting the live location and available capacity of each vehicle in the vicinity. This new functionality will provide customers with the information they need as the bus approaches.

The innovation has been made possible by First Bus’s new passenger counting functionality, announced at the end of May. Data from this system feeds directly to the First Bus app in real time. This app update coincides with First Bus doubling the number of buses operating across England from Monday 1 June, with support from UK Government. The operator expects to be able to increase service levels across its networks in Scotland and Wales in coming weeks.

With social distancing guidance being observed at the same time as lockdown restrictions are being relaxed, this additional capacity will allow customers to travel in comfort and safety. To further support social distancing, and in addition to passenger counting, seats on each bus are now clearly marked indicating where customers should sit.

First Bus continues to encourage cashless payments, and use of the App to purchase mTickets, to reduce the need for contact between customers and drivers.

Giles Fearnley, Managing Director of First Bus said “We are really proud to have been able to fast-track this technology to ensure safe, informed travel during these difficult times. Our buses provide an essential service for our customers and we are doing all we can to support them.”

This latest update from First Bus forms part of its ongoing work to improve the customer experience.


Tuesday, 2 June 2020

Go North East Virtual Background for Video Conferencing

Enjoy video conferencing journeys with a Go North East virtual background

A fascinating idea from Go North East. – you can now travel with from the safety and comfort of your own home.

They’ve put together some custom backgrounds, so you can sit back, relax and enjoy your video conferencing journeys on GNE buses.

Simply download your favourite photo below and use these guides to set the virtual background up on Teams or Zoom.

How to set up your custom video call background 

Zoom guide

If these pictures don't work from this website, the original pictures can be downloaded from  here

Monday, 1 June 2020

New Solaris 15m Urbino Electric Announced

Solaris has announced that it will produce a 15-meter Urbino electric bus (the next generation of the Urbino 15 LE). “This year will see the manufacture of a completely new generation of the Solaris Urbino 15 LE model, created solely with zero-emission drivelines in mind. The bus will be certified and offered with specs characteristic for class I vehicles – as a city bus, and for class II vehicles – as a bus for inter-city transport.”

“The decision to build a new bus was triggered not only by market interests, but also by the unprecedented technical progress with regard to electric buses, in particular in terms of energy storage. 

Energy storage in the SU15 LE electric buses will be covered by Solaris High Energy+ batteries of the latest generation which were presented by Solaris last year. The new battery solution allows to offer a drive range on a single charging which will fulfil expectations of municipal and inter-city carriers in any travel conditions.

“The first two pre-series vehicles will be fitted with 6 battery packs with a total capacity of over 470 kWh. Two will be roof-mounted and four will be placed in the back of the bus. The batteries in this model can be recharged by means of a plug-in, or, at the customer’s request, also using a pantograph. The options available will be pantographs mounted on the vehicle roof or inverted ones. Everything will be consistent with customer preferences and compatible with the existing or planned charging infrastructure.

“The drive unit of the tri-axle Urbino version will be the liquid-cooled, 300 kW central electric motor CeTrax. The driveline will be moved to the second (middle) axle of the vehicle. In order to reduce the use of energy to a minimum, the manufacturer will implement SiC technology in the bus propulsion area.”


Sunday, 31 May 2020

West Coast Mainline Tunnel Works Complete

A fortnight’s work on a Victorian-built railway tunnel is now complete to improve future journey times for passengers and freight on the West Coast main line.

Kilsby Tunnel near Daventry re-opened after major upgrades to drainage and track on a vital section of one of Europe’s busiest mixed-use passenger and freight railway lines.

It is thought to be the longest full closure of the tunnel since it opened in 1837.

Because of its age water leaks through the 183-year-old tunnel’s walls had caused the track to flood and degrade.

Speed restrictions had to be imposed for the 400 trains which passed through it on average every day, causing delays to tens of thousands of passengers travelling between Euston and the Midlands.

Now the waterproofing and track drainage improvement work is complete, trains will be able to run through the tunnel at full line speed of 110 mph once again.

This will save Avanti West Coast services a total of 82 minutes in delays every day.

James Dean, Network Rail’s West Coast Mainline South director, said: “Bringing Kilsby tunnel up to modern standards will make a huge difference for passenger and freight trains on the economically important West Coast main line.

 The works will save Avanti West Coast services a total of 82 minutes in delays every day

“In normal times it would have been impossible to close this entire section of railway for an upgrade of this scope and scale. I’d like to pay a huge credit to our train operators and industry colleagues for enabling us to carry out this work at short notice and get the railway in the best possible shape as the country recovers from the coronavirus pandemic.”

The Kilsby Tunnel project alone saw:
1.3km of track replaced
2,458 new concrete sleepers laid
7,700 tonnes of railway foundation stone (ballast) laid
745 metres of new drainage created
A total of 23,870 hours worked on the project

Network Rail agreed with train operators to carry out this work while fewer trains were running during the coronavirus slowdown.

This enabled a total of 250 other jobs to be done on the closed section of railway between Rugby and Milton Keynes.

These included:

Replacing and maintaining signalling cabling and equipment

Maintaining the 25,000v overhead lines which power trains
Replacing and welding rail

Installing new railway sleepers

Improving trackside drainage

Inspecting railway structures

Managing overgrown lineside trees and plants

Gus Dunster, executive director of operations at Avanti West Coast, said: “We are pleased to have played an important role in giving Network Rail access to the railway between Rugby and Milton Keynes – a notoriously difficult section to maintain due to the number of trains that use it every day.

“This scale of work would usually take months of careful planning but working together with industry colleagues we were able to do this in a matter of days because of our reduced timetable and alliance with Network Rail. At the same time, we were able to protect our vital services for key workers, those making essential journeys and enable works to this treasured landmark to take place.

“It’s a great achievement in unprecedented circumstances and we would like to thank all of those involved for making this happen, and for the patience of everyone who has travelled with us over the last two weeks. The works will deliver a long-term benefit – improving reliability for millions of customers across the West Coast Main Line when we look forward to welcoming them back in the future.”

Meanwhile passengers are advised to follow the Government’s guidelines on the use of public transport during the coronavirus pandemic.

People should avoid travelling by train and only do so if they have to.

With train timetables changing, those who do need to travel are advised to check

Kilsby Tunnel is around 1.5 miles long and is situated on the West Coast main line in Northamptonshire

The tunnel was built in the 1830s using an estimated 30 million bricks

On a normal weekday around 400 trains run through the tunnel on one of Europe's busiest mixed use (passenger and freight trains) stretches of railway

Saturday, 30 May 2020

Europe’s Longest Train Ride

As Italy emerges from lockdown, Trenitalia will be first off the block with what will possibly be Europe’s longest train ride.

Italy’s state rail operator will link Turin in the North with Reggio di Calabria in the South. Trenitalia will deploy a Frecciarossa high-speed trainset effective from June 3rd.

The Northbound Frecciarossa commences June 4, and there will be a single daily Frecciarossa each way taking ten hours 50 minutes to complete the trip.

The schedules are as follows:
Turin (Porta Nova) to Reggio di Calabria, departing 0800, arriving 1850
Reggio di Calabria to Turin (Porta Nova), departing 1010, arriving 2100

Website Europe by Rail reckons that with a route length of 1,387 km (862 miles) it “must surely rank as one of Europe’s longest regular daytime rail journeys that can be completed without changing trains.”

However Trenitalia’s claim to fame will be short lived, as open access rival Italo, a member of Allrail EU, will enter the route ten days later.

Italo will operate up to twice daily in either direction, commencing June 14th.

Initial schedules display two southbound but just one northbound service.

The Italo service will operate from Turin (Porta Susa). Its journey times are roughly similar.
Turin (Porta Susa) to Reggio di Calabria, departing 0523, arriving 1630
Turin (Porta Susa) to Reggio di Calabria, departing 1319, arriving 0007 (the following day)
Reggio di Calabria to Turin (Porta Susa) 1330 arriving 0015 (following day)

Both Trenitalia and Italo offer a choice of passenger accommodation at varying prices. Check their websites for details.

As with France’s TGVs and Germany’s ICEs, readers will find that routes are not high speed all the way.

Stretches of the route linking Turin with Reggio di Calabria operate over conventional track, particularly south of Naples.

From Turin both operators take the main route via Milan, Bologna, Florence, Rome and Naples.

Many travellers will probably join/alight at intermediate stops rather than completing the entire trip.

Friday, 29 May 2020

Brussels Volvo Hybrid Order

Brussels operator STIB-MIVB has placed an order for 128 hybrid Volvo buses, which includes the options for servicing and maintaining the traction chain and batteries. The vehicles will be delivered in 2021. The aim is to gradually convert the city’s entire vehicle fleet to electric propulsion.

The purchase of the 128 Volvo 7900 Hybrid buses takes place within the framework of an agreement that was awarded to Volvo Buses by STIB-MIVB in 2018. STIB-MIVB provides public transport in the Belgian capital. 

Since then, Volvo has delivered 110 hybrid buses for the Brussels public transport network. The first batch of vehicles is equipped with access to Volvo Buses’ fleet management system.
“It’s very inspiring that Brussels and STIB-MIVB are continuing the development of a sustainable public transport system, even in these difficult times. Sustainability will continue to be high on the agenda for cities also going forward,” says Håkan Agnevall, President of Volvo Buses.

“The bus network in Brussels is developing rapidly along two complementary axes: energy transition at one hand and a major redesign of our routes as to further increase the public transport offer by almost 30% in a few months. 

The Volvo hybrid fleet is a major building block that enables STIB to leverage in this double challenge.”, says Renaud de Saint Moulin, Senior Vice President, Transport Systems at STIB-MIVB. The relation between Volvo and Brussels is a long-standing one with the B59 series running in the the streets of Brussels in the 1980’s and 1990’s.

The Volvo 7900 Hybrid is propelled entirely by electricity, quietly and emission-free from standstill up to 20 km/h. At higher speeds a small diesel engine is automatically activated. 

The bus’s batteries are charged via the energy recovered during braking, so no charging infrastructure is required. According to Volvo fuel consumption and CO2 emissions should be 25 to 40% lower than for a corresponding diesel bus. 
Particle and nitrogen oxide emissions are 50% lower.

Thursday, 28 May 2020

Azuma Naming Competition - One Year of Azuma Running


LNER are celebrating the first year of running Azuma trains by giving the opportunity to name an Azuma.

Their press release says:-

"LNER are celebrating the first year of our Azuma trains being in service. Since launching on 15 May 2019, the new fleet has been rolling out and so far the new trains have taken more than 4.5 million people to their destinations.

Our Azuma trains have been designed to provide more journeys, more often with more style in a more environmentally friendly way, bringing LNER to the forefront in the future of rail.

Just look at what they've achieved so far...


To celebrate Azuma’s first birthday, we are excited to be opening nominations for you to be part of history by putting forward a name suggestion for one of our trains.

Suggestions could perhaps reflect the history of the LNER route by honouring old names, or new ideas to pay homage to the communities and destinations we’ll serve in 2020 and beyond. If there’s someone in the community who deserves recognition, a landmark which you’d like to see noticed or an organisation that warrants special attention, we’d love to hear from you!

The best suggestions will be shortlisted by the LNER panel, with the favourites making it through to the new fleet of trains.

To send your entry to LNER, click 
here and complete the form to enter before Monday 1st June 2020."

Wednesday, 27 May 2020

Huge Response to Tunnel Re-opening-Survey

A consultation exercise asking Merthyr Tydfil and Rhondda Cynon Taf residents if they would like to see the reopening of the Abernant Tunnel has had a massive response.

Almost 800 people completed the councils’ online survey on plans to improve transport links between the two towns, including possibly reopening the disused tunnel for walking and cycling.

At 1.4-miles, Abernant is one of Wales’s longest disused railway tunnels. If reopened, it could provide a traffic-free and direct cycling route of around four miles between the two town centres, reducing the current journey by around three miles.

Merthyr Tydfil and Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Councils are working together with the aim of making the journey easier for people who travel between Aberdare and Merthyr Tydfil for reasons including work, education, shopping and entertainment.

Survey respondents were particularly keen on the possible exercise benefits and the safety of the route, with comments including:

“Less traffic, more exercise. It's a great idea to open the tunnels to active users - more of this in Wales is needed. Lots of people work between the Valleys, not just down and into Cardiff. It's a no brainer in my opinion.

“The tunnel would be a brilliant feature for both Valleys and I’d use it for running and cycling, not just to get to and from the two towns.

“Unless you are young or super fit, the only walking or cycling options are up and down the valley. Opening the tunnel would be wonderful.

“I think opening the tunnel would ease the ever increasing traffic on the treacherous Baverstocks Road. I am a keen cyclist and a father of a seven-year-old who is bike-mad. We love cycling together but I do ensure we only cycle on safe cycle networks such as the Taff Trail. The tunnel would be ideal, as it is away from any traffic.”

Some respondents also described the tunnel as a heritage asset and potential tourist attraction:

“I believe the Valleys don’t have a lot to offer people since the heavy industry days, other than their outstanding landscape and deep heritage. We should do everything we can to preserve and capitalise on our heritage. I think the tunnel would be a great attraction for tourists.

“This would be a fantastic opportunity to encourage more people of all ages to enjoy the wonderful landscape of our Valleys. It’s also free to walk, run or cycle on what would be a safe and beautiful route from Aberdare to Merthyr.
It’s an ideal opportunity to share the history of our Valleys within both communities and to welcome new visitors from near and far.

“It would be great to see the tunnel open again for the public to walk and cycle through. It is about time we tried to save and use some of our industrial past treasures. Make the tunnel safe, secure, with solar lighting throughout, and let’s get on with it. We will love it!”

The Isambard Kingdom Brunel-designed structure was built as part of the railway service between Merthyr Tydfil and Neath in 1853, and the last train ran through it in 1962.

In 2019, Welsh Government announced an extra £60m investment in active travel across Wales over three years. With Welsh Government Local Transport Fund (LTF) support, Sustrans Wales was commissioned to carry out a development study looking at the condition, potential maintenance and running costs and ownership of the tunnel

Merthyr Tydfil CBC’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Public Protection Cllr Geraint Thomas said the response to the survey had been expected.

“We knew that residents were excited about the prospect of the reopening, so we thought they would get involved,” he added. “The next steps will be to look at all the comments, both positive and negative, and then carry out further analysis of maintenance/running costs and a full detailed business plan.

“The consensus appears to be very much in favour of reopening, but there are many factors to take into account, including initial and ongoing costs. As soon as we have a clearer idea of workable plans, we’ll be reporting back.”

Tuesday, 26 May 2020

Polish Tram Order for Stadler

 More Stadler trams for Krakow

A new framework agreement has been signed for the delivery of up to 60 TANGO Kraków Lajkonik II trams. 
At the same time the two parties signed two contracts for the delivery of 10 and 25 vehicles. 

The value of the framework agreement is in the region of 120 million CHF (113 million euros). Stadler will deliver the vehicles in mid-2023. 

The trams ordered are a continuation of the currently produced TANGO Kraków Lajkonik. These trams are low-floor, three-car vehicles with four bogies. The doors are 1.4m wide, which allows for a rapid exchange of passengers at stops. The design at the front of the vehicle is intended to protect pedestrians.

One of the new features of the trams is that they have back rests for standing passengers. Each tram can accommodate 75 seated and 163 standing passengers, giving a total of 238. 
The vehicles will be equipped with air-conditioning, a ticket machine, a passenger information system, a monitoring system, USB ports for passengers to charge their smartphones, and a passenger counting system. 
The ergonomic cabin and the comfortable driver’s seat create a comfortable working environment for the driver.

The trams are claimed to be environmentally friendly in their design and will incorporate regenerative braking. Furthermore, two of the trams will be equipped to operate without an external power supply. The remaining trams can be upgraded to this feature in the future.

Monday, 25 May 2020

Virtual Midland Red Day at Wythall

The Transport Museum, Wythall is unable to hold its planned Midland Red Day on Monday 25 May, so the Museum has decided at short notice to hold a Midland Red Day virtually on Facebook.

“We will be posting a variety photos and videos from previous events throughout the day as well as photos of current Midland Red vehicles,” explained Museum Press Officer Denis Chick. 

“There will also be a Virtual Ride on a preserved Midland Red bus – hopefully our 1940 SON, GHA337. 

Visiting vehicles are welcome, buses of a different colour or from your favourite fleet. Visitors are invited to post a picture from 10am on the day. 

Let us all see a picture of your favourite Midland Red bus from the past or a bus that you would like to see at a future Wythall event. We hope to see you at Wythall Facebook on Bank Holiday Monday, at least the rain can’t stop us!”