16. 01. 2024
DPP has introduced the new Škoda ForCity Plus Praha 52T trams, which are to be delivered by the winner of the public tender, Škoda Transportation. The eight-year contract for the purchase of 40 trams with an option to deliver up to 160 additional vehicles worth 16.602 billion crowns is one of the largest investments in trams in the modern history of DPP. The first 20 new trams should arrive in Prague in December 2025 and the additional 20 a year later.
The Škoda ForCity Plus Praha 52T is a one-way, five-section, 100% low-floor tram without a single step in the entire passenger area, including the space above the chassis, in a modern design, created by a team of designers from the Škoda Group under the leadership of Tomáš Chludil. It is 32 meters long, equipped with full-vehicle air conditioning with an ecological refrigerant, anti-collision system, automatic passenger counting, economical LED interior and exterior lighting, 70 padded seats, of which 44 are in the direction of travel and 26 are in the opposite direction of travel. Compared to the previous 15T trams, the capacity of the new vehicles will have increased by 33 passengers, i.e., by almost 16%. The tram has a new information system consisting of six large-display screens covering the entire span of the aisle, and more intuitive control of the door-opening buttons as well as signalling to the driver.
The design of the new tram combines a multi-section vehicle with two freely pivoting bogies under the outer sections and with two semi-pivoting bogies under the inner chassis sections. This connection made it possible to create a much more passable, airy passenger area with short, wider, and spacious joints without stairs and other barriers. At the same time, it ensures adaptability to any track profile and promises a smooth, comfortable, and quiet ride as well as reduced wear and tear of wheels and tracks. This solution will result in a longer service lifetime of the vehicles, for example, it assumes up to a 50% higher wheel travel distance than in the type 15T tram, and ultimately lower maintenance costs for the chassis and the most expensive components thereof.
Škoda anti-collision system
The Škoda ForCity Plus Praha 52T tram is equipped with an anti-collision system, which aims to reduce the likelihood of collisions in traffic. For this, it uses a combination of doubled technology of LiDAR and HD camera, and precise localisation using offline recorded HD maps and odometry. This setup allows the system to create a virtual driving tunnel in which the tram can detect obstacles with an accuracy of 10 cm, provide early warning, minimise false-positive warnings and activate the emergency brake in time. The anti-collision system will thus help prevent major accidents and damages to both health and vehicles.
Sustainable braking technology
The Škoda ForCity Plus 52T tram for Prague is equipped with an electromechanical brake system that was chosen for its efficiency and sustainability. Electromechanical brakes offer simple operation and maintenance, oil-free economy, and low operating costs. It will only work as an emergency, locking, and backup brake. A more accurate and faster response and better control of the smoothness of deceleration will be ensured by an electrodynamic motor brake, which is part of the drive and motor. The advantage of this solution is lower noise and the maximum possible degree of utilisation of recuperation until a complete halt. The energy obtained by recuperation will be used primarily for servicing and operating the vehicle, or it will be returned to the grid and be used by another vehicle. This contributes to higher energy efficiency and lower overall energy consumption. In addition, the wear and tear of the brakes themselves and the infrastructure of the tracks is also reduced. On top of that, compared to a hydraulic brake system, it contains no hydraulic fluid, which makes it not only more environmentally friendly, but it also significantly reduces the time required for maintenance and putting the vehicle back into service.
Technical parameters of the Škoda ForCity Plus Praha 52T tram: