On 1 December, Wiener Linien selected Bombardier as preferred bidder for the supply of up to 156 low-floor Flexity LRVs in a deal worth up to EUR562m.
The 34m five-section trams will be assembled at Bombardier’s plant in the Viennese suburb of Donaustadt, with first deliveries taking place in 2018, enabling the withdrawal (and potential sale) of the numerically dominant high-floor E1 and E2 trams dating from the 1970s.
In 2013 WL announced that it was to launch a new tender instead of exercising an option to bolster its fleet of Siemens ULF (Ultra-Low Floor) trams. The ULF is synonymous with Vienna, having been developed for the city’s network and Siemens supplied 150 examples from 1997 onwards – the first prototype being delivered in 1995. The firm is currently delivering a second tranche of 150 vehicles in two lengths (24.2m and 35.5m), the last of which is due to roll off its Simmering assembly line in 2015.
The only other ULFs in service are ten supplied to Oradea in Romania in 2008-09.
UPDATE (23/01/15): A Viennese court has rejected an appeal by Siemens against Wiener Linien’s decision to award the contract for 156 trams to Bombardier, arguing that its ULF provides a lower floor entry height and greater seating capacity, albeit at a higher price.
However, the administrative court ruled that Bombardier’s offer fulfilled the criteria of the tender and that the evaluation had been carried out properly, overruling any complaint.