European tram-train alliance formed (Tramways & Urban Transit)

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The Verband Deutscher Verkehrsunternehmen (VDV – Association of German Transport Operators) and seven transport undertakings from across Germany and Austria have set up a joint group to procure tram-train LRVs to drive efficiencies of scale for new rolling stock.

The group’s formation brings to fruition discussions dating back to 2009 as German operators noted the disparity when placing orders compared to comparable heavy rail alternatives. VDV TramTrain will now attempt to obtain better value for money rather than each operator placing small orders, which currently come in around EUR6m per car.

VDV TramTrain is now preparing specifications for a uniform bodyshell, safety components and traction system, with options for platform heights, door configurations and axle weights to suit each system. There would be a common authorisation process for tram and train operation – Betriebsordnung Strassenbahn (BOStrab) and Eisenbahnbetriebsordnung (EBO). It is estimated that joint procurement could achieve cost savings of EUR1m per vehicle.

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Written by Long Branch Mike