In January 2010, Siemens Romania and Astra Vagoane Călători Arad signed the collaboration contract for tram construction. The new Imperio trams will be manufactured according to the model of Combino trams in Budapest, built by the German manufacturer. The very first customer of these trams will be Arad municipality, the authorities hoping the city public transport to have 24 Imperio trams in use in the next 5 to 8 years.
The first product resulted from the collaboration between the Romanian and the German companies was the Blue Arrow diesel unit delivered to the national operator CFR Călători. For its collaboration with Siemens, Astra Vagoane Călători Arad has been negotiating the conclusion of a tram construction contract for nearly two years and in 2009 they even announced the possibility to abandon the collaboration and manufacture the vehicles by themselves. “Meanwhile, we have discussed the matter with the other tram manufacturers, worked on design and even initiated the production readiness. Considering the fact that, at the moment, according to authorized studies, the tram necessary would be 1,500 units, we will, first of all, make trams for the Romanian market but we are planning future exports”, Valer Blidar, president Astra Vagoane Călători Arad declared for the central press.
Therefore, in January 2010, the two companies signed the contract for the implementation of the tram construction project. The partnership was signed by Christian Serjannis, Regional Manager Mobility Division at Siemens Romania, Valer Blidar, President Astra Group and Alexandru Truţă, General Manager Astra Vagoane Călători.The project aims at building trams, mainly for the public transport in Arad but also for the urban transport market all over Romania.
“We will attend the Romanian municipalities’ tenders as soon as they are organized, while Siemens will deal with foreign orders”, Valer Blidar told the media. Imperio will be built based on Siemens’ technology. The tram will benefit from Siemens haulage system and bogies while Astra Călători will deal with the whole manufacturing process. “Due to the state-of-the-art technology and all its elements, three-phase haulage engines driven by invertors, regenerative electric breaking and others, the tram will save energy based on the same technology as the similar products on the international market”, Ovidiu Bologea, Astra public relations advisor declared for Railway Pro. The latest generation tram is 100% low floor and has a three-car configuration which can be adjusted according to the customer’s requirements. The funds necessary for the project implementation are estimated at EUR 6 Million and are exclusively covered from Astra’s own funds. The annual capacity is estimated at 30-35 trams, while the whole project consists in the production of 75 low floor trams. The first tram could enter operation in September. The launch of its latest product, the Imperio tram, will not be the end for Astra Vagoane Călători Arad.The company plans to build the first electric train in Romania as “railway transport with trains driven by electric locomotives is an important solution for the entire world and since we have no such trains, our company plans to take action”, Blidar declared.
by Pamela Luică