Bombardier Transportation has received an order from Rhein-Neckar-Verkehr GmbH (RNV) for 11 new low-floor trams. The latest order, valued at33 million euro ($47 million US) is a further option of a contract signed in 1998.
The low-floor trams will serve the joint network of the transport operators of the Rhine-Neckar region.The trams are equipped with the Bombardier Mitrac Energy Saver, an innovative technology for recuperating braking energy. The vehicles offer passengers a high level of comfort, spacious interiors, high performance air-conditioning and a clearly laid-out passenger information system. With an entrance height of 350 millimetres, plus folding ramps and ample space for wheelchairs, the low-floor vehicles are well equipped to cater for mobility-impaired passengers.
Germar Wacker, president Light Rail Vehicles division, Bombardier Transportation, said:“We have been cooperating closely with RNV for many years. We are delighted by the trust they have placed in us. With this order a total of 30 RNV trams will be equipped with the Mitrac Energy Saver. Together with our customer we are making an active contribution to sustainable transport planning in the region.
“The new trams are a rewarding, future-minded investment in high-performance as well as environmentally friendly public transport," said Martin in der Beek, chief technical officer RNV. “Starting in 2013, we will be operating entirely with modern, low-floor vehicles on the200 km railway and tram network of the RNV. Together with ongoing accessibility upgrades at stops in Ludwigshafen, Mannheim and Heidelberg, as well as the surrounding area, we are contributing to the increasingly important concept of universally accessible public transport. In addition, modern energy recuperating technology is used once again to enable an even more efficient operation of the already environmentally friendly tram network.
“The new low-floor trams will be manufactured at the Bombardier site in Bautzen. Mannheim will provide the electrical equipment, the bogies will be provided by Siegen. The vehicles are scheduled to be delivered between January and June 2013. Nineteen RNV trams have already been equipped with the Mitrac Energy Saver developed in Mannheim. After the feasibility of this system had been confirmed in testing over a 4-year period, RNV consistently relied on the Mitrac Energy Saver when buying new vehicles and thus was the first transport operator anywhere in the world to use this technology on its serially produced vehicles.
The winning formula is "energy recuperation." This innovative technology enables the braking energy of electrical trams to be stored directly in the vehicle and then to be fed back during acceleration. The energy is stored on a purely electrical basis in doublelayer capacitors (SuperCaps) on the vehicle roof and can be used again when the vehicle accelerates or in regular operation. Thus the total energy needed by a tram, LRV or metro system will be reduced by up to 30 percent. Less need for electricity equals lower energy consumption, lower operating costs and substantially reduced CO2 emissions in the production of the traction current. Overall Bombardier now has more than 3,500 trams and light rail vehicles operating or on order in cities across Europe, Australia and North America.