Kölner Verkehrsbetriebe (KVB), operator of the tramway network in the German city of Köln (Cologne), has issued formal tender documentation for the supply of 132 high-floor Stadtbahn cars and 34 intermediate modules.
The specification, published on 12 January, calls for 2.65m-wide units capable of 80km/h (50mph) running and multiple-unit operation with the ability for passengers to be able to walk through. An initial order for 73 cars is planned, including provision for maintenance and spares, with the option for a further 60 cars and 23 intermediate modules.
The new stock will be classified HF12 (30m) and the intermediate modules HFx (15m), enabling 70m trains to be used on lines 13 and 18. Five pre-series units are required to be delivered in 2027, with weekly delivery from 2028.
Intended to permit the withdrawal of Stadtbahn-B stock dating from 1984-96, this planned order was trailed as long ago as September 2021. Approved by the city council in May 2022, it was described by KVB as the biggest tram order in its near 150-year history.
The undertaking is currently taking delivery of 29 high-floor Flexity Swift cars of type HF6, ordered from Bombardier before the company was taken over by Alstom.
Dating as a tramway from 1877 and later upgraded to Stadtbahn standards, Köln’s network covers 200km (125 miles) and features city subway sections. Operations are handled using a mix of low-floor (lines 1, 7, 9, 12, 15) and high-floor (3, 4, 5, 13, 16, 17, 18) routes.
In 2020 KVB signed a EUR363m deal with Alstom/Kiepe for 64 low-floor Citadis trams, the first of which are due in 2024. Options exist for up to 36 more of the type.