Warsaw and Sofia renew tram fleet

tramThe capital city of Poland, Warsaw, has taken a significant step forward in creating an efficient and eco-friendly public transport system. Thus, towards the end of January 2014, the Polish city completed the acquisition of the 186 new trams that would replace 40% of its obsolete rolling stock. Some of these vehicles were almost half a century old. For this project, Warsaw Municipality signed a contract with Pesa in 2009. The contract amounts to around PLN 1.5 Billion (EUR 350 Million).
The trams travelling on Warsaw’s network are equipped with air-conditioning, electronic passenger information system and automatic ticket validating machines. Their low-floor feature facilitates the accessibility of the elderly or disabled people.
The procedure of integrating the new trams in the public transport network began in May 2010.
Of the 186 new trams delivered to Tramwaje Warszawskie Company, 179 were bought using EU funds with payment co-vering around 59% of their cost. The rest of the amount was covered from a loan signed with EBRD. This contract between Warsaw Municipality and the tram manufacturer is one of the largest of its kind and the model bought by Warsaw has been also ordered by other Polish cities, such as Gdansk and Szczecin, but also by other cities in Eastern Europe, such as Szeged in Hungary and Cluj – Napoca, in Romania.
“A few years ago, there were few low-floor trams in Warsaw. In 2015, almost 60% of the trams operating in the public transport network will be low-floor”, said Hanna Gronkiewicz-Waltz, Mayor of Warsaw.

Sofia buys 20 trams

The trams bought by Sofia Municipa-
lity in Bulgaria are also manufactured by Pesa and, according to available data, they already started operation in January 2014 on the public transport network of the Bulgarian capital. At the beginning of the year, Sofia received four new, ready to run, trams. The story of the Bulgarian city is somehow similar to that of the Polish capital, as these are the first new trams bought by Sofia after a long period of time when operation has been carried out only with old trams. In the past, Sofia has been focused on the procurement of second-hand, rather than new, trams.
A total of 20 trams will be delivered to Sofia by May 2014, their cost amounting to EUR 33.2 Million. Another sum of EUR 16.8 Million will be dedicated to the acquisition of spare parts and a diagnose system, so that the municipality could maintain trams in a good operating condition. The trams have five wagons and a total length of 30 metres. The individual capacity of a tram is 201 passengers, 41 of whom on seats.
As in the case of Warsaw, the trams in Sofia, delivered to Stolichen Elektrotransport public transport company, are accessible to low-mobility people and have an energy-efficient system. They are also equipped with a modern passenger information system.
“These are the first new trams we’ve bought in many years to run on our public transport network. So far, we’ve only bought second-hand trams because new trams were very expensive”, declared Yordanka Fandakova, Mayor of Sofia. The acquisition of trams was possible through the Operational Programme “Environment”.

[ by Elena Ilie ]
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