The CEO of Škoda Group Didier Pfleger and Martin In Der Beek, the CTO of Rhein Neckar Verkehr (rnv), have presented the Rhein-Neckar-Tram, a new Škoda 36T tram on September 20 at InnoTrans trade fair in Berlin.
“Our public transport services will provide a better and comfortable journey for our passengers and the procurement of the new trams is instrumental for the development of public transport. The new tram represents a major step towards our vision of an even better public transport. Now it is extremely important that we receive the first vehicles as soon as possible and that the homologation process is swiftly concluded. In April 2023, Mannheim will host the Bundesgartenschau, the world’s largest horticultural show, which is an extremely important event for our region. The RNT [Rhein-Neckar-Tram or RNT] is planned to be the showpiece of our modern and sophisticated public transport system,” the representative of rnv said at the ceremony.
The Rhein-Neckar-Tram is a “unique product in term of technology and comfort and we are proud to unveil this new vehicle today. The delivery of trams for customer rnv is a large and important contract for us. This is the first time we are showing this new vehicle, which will be in service for decades to come on city and regional lines in the Rhine-Neckar region,” the CEO of Škoda Group said.
Škoda Group brought a tram ForCity Smart 36T to InnoTrans and it is for the first time the tram is shown. The tram has a total capacity of 178 passengers with 72 seats.
The bi-directional with pivoting bogies has a length of 30.5 metres, operating on a gauge of 1,000 mm. The vehicle can reach a maximum operating speed of 80 km/h.
The Rhein-Neckar-Tram has low-floor entry, barrier-free area for wheelchair users and parents with prams. “We have focused on long-term sustainability, passenger comfort and modern design when developing the tram. The tram is fully air-conditioned and will ensure the comfort of passengers up to 50 degrees Celsius. A boarding platform and all important safety and orientation features are provided for passengers with reduced mobility,” Christopher Schreiner, Project Engineer at Škoda Group explained at the event.
The wide double doors ensure fast passenger changes at stops and therefore greater transport efficiency. It is also equipped with the latest information systems and cameras.
In 2018, rnv and Škoda Group signed a EUR 250 million contract for the supply of 80 rail vehicles consisting of 31 30-metre-long trams, 37 40-metre long vehicles and 12 60-metre long vehicles. The contract also includes an option for 34 further rail vehicles.
Rhein Neckar Verkehr provides public transport services in the Mannheim, Heidelberg and Ludwigshafen.