The Astra Imperio tram number 50 entered the route of line 1 in Bucharest on Tuesday, starting from the STB Giurgiului depot and carrying on board the majority shareholder of Astra Vagoane Călători Arad, Valer Blidar, the mayor Nicușor Dan, the deputy mayor Stelian Bujduveanu and the general director of the public transport company STB, Adrian Criț. The rolling stock manufacturer from Arad is ahead of schedule with the delivery of trams, compared to the schedule agreed in the contract signed with the City Hall.
There was a lot of excitement Tuesday morning at the Giurgiu depot of the Bucharest Transport Company (STB), where the Astra Imperio tram number 50 was received, out of the 100 that Astra Vagoane Călători Arad must deliver to the Bucharest municipality. Tram number 51 was parked on a parallel line in the depot and is also due to be put into service soon.
“We have received trams number 50 and number 51. I would like to remind you that the General Council of Bucharest recently approved the opportunity study for the purchase of another 250 trams, which will provide all the necessary transport. There are serious companies in Romania and when they are paid on time they deliver on time”, said Mayor General Nicușor Dan, obviously referring to Astra Vagoane Călători Arad.
For his part, Deputy Mayor Stelian Bujduveanu stressed that there can be no modern transport without investment. “The citizens of Bucharest have started to use public transport, and I’m not just talking about those who don’t have cars. And those who have cars have started to leave them at home, because public transport has improved,” he said.
Astra Imperio tram number 50. New trams in figures
STB director-general Adrian Criț presented the tram transport situation in Bucharest in figures. From the beginning of the year to 1 August, trams in Bucharest covered a distance of 11.5 million km, of which 1.8 million km were covered by Astra Imperio trams. The latter averaged 33,000 km travelled, while the old V3A or Tatra trams – 27,000 km each. The big difference comes when it comes to maintenance. On Astra Imperio trams maintenance costs 0.21 lei/km, on the others – 5.75 lei/km.
“Astra has fulfilled its obligations under the contract, despite some doubts. We will deliver five trams ahead of schedule this year. Unfortunately, we have problems in Bucharest, because the infrastructure was modernised 23 years ago, and every eight years we should have done capital repairs. This process has only just started”, said Valer Blidar.
Valer Blidar followed up on Adrian Criț’s idea, saying that it costs him more to maintain his car than the 50 trams delivered to Bucharest. As for some of the problems in running the new trams, he pointed out that each vehicle is fitted with half a million euros worth of electronic equipment, and at first STB drivers were not used to this. In the meantime, they got used to it.
Contract for 100 trams signed in spring 2011
On 11 May 2021, the mayor of Bucharest Nicușor Dan signed the contract for the procurement of 100 trams manufactured by Astra Vagoane Călători Arad, destined for the Bucharest Transport Company.
The new trams are 36 metres long, with a fully lowered floor and five double doors. The contract also includes spare parts, consumables, commissioning and maintenance services. At the same time, the company from Arad also provides training for the staff who will operate the trams. In the tender, Astra Vagoane Călători was associated with CRRC Sifang.
The contract for the purchase of the 100 trams is worth 840 million lei, and the vehicles have a seven-year guarantee from the manufacturer. They will run on eight tram lines in the capital, under the same number of subcontracts.