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First Škoda ForCity Trams Put into Routine Operation of Prague’s Municipal Transport System

Prague, February 4, 2011 – As of today, Prague Municipal Transport Company (PMTC) has completed the trial operation phase of the Škoda ForCity (Škoda 15T) trams. Starting tomorrow, passengers can enjoy a ride in the new low-floor trams on Line 18. Further Škoda 15T tram sets will be continuously put into operation till the end of March 2011, and the deliveries of Škoda 15Ts will continue until the whole contract for 250 tram units is completed. The project timetable envisages the deliveries will be completed in 2017.

 

At the end of the day, the release of the new vehicles into routine operation was made possible by a homologation granted by the Czech Rail Authority, followed by a 100-kilometer test ride and technical and safety tests conducted by PMTC personnel. PMTC then received a so-called Capability Certificate for the Škoda 15T tram, whereby the vehicle was officially introduced in the operating fleet of PMTC.

“Releasing the new tram for routine operation required meeting a number of requirements of the Czech Rail Authority and other relevant institutions. I am very happy the process has now been completed and our passengers can thus have a firsthand experience of unquestionable advantages of our low-floor tram, which is regarded as one of the most modern vehicles in its class in Europe,” said PMTC’s CEO Martin Dvořák.

The 15T ForCity tram will be put into routine operation with passengers for the first time on Saturday, February 5, 2011. It will start its career as part of Prague’s Municipal Transport System on Line 18.

The Škoda ForCity tram commenced its driving tests in Prague in September 2009. Early into the test program, the new trams did not carry any passengers; tests with passengers were taking place since last October. “The trial operation phase required the new trams to cover at least 5,000 kilometers without passengers and 15,000 kilometers with passengers, without any defects that might pose an operational safety or passenger safety risk. We have met both of these requirements without any reservation,” added PMTC’s CEO Martin Dvořák.

The tram prototypes were undergoing regular checks and inspections on the basis of which their manufacturer received all necessary certificates from state agencies and institutions responsible for acceptance tests and checks of the vehicles before they can be put into operation.

By 2017, Škoda Transportation should deliver a total of 250 of the new, three-segmented, hundred-percent low-floor trams to PMTC, which will bring about a major rejuvenation of the company’s fleet and succeed the T3 model as the dominant tram type in the municipal transport system of the capital.

About the Škoda ForCity tram

Hundred-percent low-floor ŠKODA 15T model

The low-floor 15T ForCity tram is another type of a modern city rail vehicle developed and manufactured by ŠKODA TRANSPORTATION a.s., Pilsen. Known under the trade name “ForCity”, the tram is a new generation vehicle the concept, design and technical parameters of which reflect requirements of passenger transport in major cities in the beginning of the 21st century. The Prague Municipal Transport Company has thus received a modern tram with a number of unconventional technical solutions. Compared to previous models of the Pilsen company and all trams presently operated in the Czech Republic, it is a hundred-percent low-floor vehicle.

The design

The author of the timeless design is architect Patrik Kotas. The design of Prague’s new Škoda 15T tram represents a brand new concept of both exterior and interior spatial layout and forms, whose main principle is that of visual lightness. The prominent spherical windshield smoothly blends into the side windows and roof section of the triple segment articulated bodywork. Dark-coloured areas are intentionally set against metallic silver finish of the panels below the windows. A red stripe at the bottom unifies the visual perception of the body, running around both ends, both sides and four bogies of the vehicle. The location of the four bogies under the articulated joints and front and tail ends of the vehicle is the most prominent innovation and most typical feature of the design concept.

The concept

The tram consists of three very similar low-floor sections, or segments, which offer a compact, but spacious interior. The concept allows the vehicle to make full use of its power and adhesion when negotiating difficult, high-gradient lines. The body sections rest on extremely low pivoting bogies, an innovation offering a much wider passage through the vehicle and allowing its interior to dispense with any stairs. Each wheel has an independent AC motor drive. Compared to conventional rail vehicles, the tram shows very low rail and wheel rates.

The equipment

The spacious interior provides enough room for prams and passengers with limited mobility. The vehicle is equipped with a mechanical access ramp. A new ventilation system enhances the comfort of passengers. Naturally, there is also a new user-friendly information system and an intercom allowing the passengers to communicate with the driver. The interior is equipped with a CCTV system, stainless steel grab bars, tinted windows absorbing UV radiation, and modern ergonomic wooden seats. The grab-and-hold system is well suited for people of different heights. The tram features a number of features and functions enhancing both its own safety and that of its passengers.

ŠKODA ForCity (15T) Tram – Technical Specifications

  • Unidirectional vehicle
  • Length – 31.4 m, width – 2.46 m, height over the trolley collector - 3.6 m
  • 100 % low-floor vehicle, allowing easy embarkation and disembarkation of passengers and easy movement of passengers inside the vehicle
  • Tram capacity – 61 seated and up to 239 standing passengers
  • Top speed electronically limited to 60 km/h
  • 15T is equipped with six double doors for passengers; the front door is intended only for the driver and its position and colour makes it clearly distinct from the passenger doors

Contacts for more information:

Ilona Vysoudilová
Press Dept. manager and press secretary of the Prague Public Transit Co.,
email: vysoudilova@dpp.cz

 
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