The Prague Public Transit Company (DPP) has signed an eight-year contract with Škoda Group for the purchase of 40 ForCity Plus Praha trams and an option to deliver up to 160 more. The total value of the contract is nearly CZK 16.6 billion (EUR 676.3 million), and it is one of the largest investments in new trams in the modern history of DPP. The first 20 new trams are expected to arrive in Prague in December 2025, and another 20 vehicles a year later, by the end of December 2026.
The 100% low-floor Škoda ForCity Plus Praha 52T tram is a one-way, five-part vehicle without a single step in the entire passenger compartment, including the space above the bogies, in a modern design created by a team of designers from Škoda Group led by Tomáš Chludil.
The ForCity Plus Praha trams are 32 metre long equipped with full-carriage green air conditioning with ecological refrigerant, an anti-collision system, automatic passenger counting, energy-saving LED interior and exterior lighting, and 70 padded seats, of which 44 are forward-facing and 26 are rearward-facing.
Compared to the previous 15T trams, the capacity of the new vehicles will increase by 33 passengers, or almost 16%. Passengers will benefit the new information system with six large screens across the entire width of the aisle and more intuitive operation of the door opening buttons and signalling to the driver.
Prague, especially its historic centre, is typical for its narrow streets with sharp curves and steep gradients, significant height differences in the tram network, but also long and relatively straight routes. The development of the new tram for Prague considered all these facts as well as the technical requirements of the DPP resulting from the previous operating experience. The design of the new tram combines a multi-link vehicle with two pivoting bogies under the outermost links and two partly pivoting bogies under the inner chassis links. This combination allowed for a much more accessible, airy saloon for passengers with short, wider, and spacious joints, free of any steps or other barriers. It also ensures adaptability to any track profile and promises a smooth, comfortable, and quiet ride, as well as reduced wear and tear on wheels and tracks. This solution will have an impact on the longer service life of the vehicles, assuming, for example, up to 50% more-wheel mileage than the 15T trams, and ultimately lower maintenance costs for the bogies and its most expensive components.
“We are building new lines, last year we opened three lines with a total length of 5 kilometres, and we are preparing more. This year, for example, we will start building on Wenceslas Square. The new lines alone, which we plan to build in the period 2024-2027, will need 45 new trams. And it will be these 100% low-floor and quiet trams with an increased number of seats and an anti-collision system,” said Zdeněk Hřib, First Deputy Mayor of Prague for Transport and Chairman of the Supervisory Board of DPP.