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Durmazlar begins tram deliveries to Reșița

The first Durmazlar tram for the Romanian city of Reșița is unloaded at the site of the new depot in Govândari on 29 January. Reșița City Hall

The first of 13 new low-floor trams for the new tramway in the western Romanian city of Reșița was delivered by Turkish manufacturer Durmazlar on 29 January. Further deliveries of the 18m double-ended  cars, each with capacity for 135 passengers, are expected in April, June and August under a EUR25m contract awarded in 2020.

Homologation of the new trams is being carried out by a Polish company, with drivers undergoing training in Timișoara, around 100km (62 miles) to the north-west.

Two contracts to rebuild the city’s tramway, worth a combined RON270m (EUR55m), were signed with construction company PORR in April 2022. A subsidiary of the Austrian-based contractor began work on around 10km (6.2 miles) of new tracks between Bulevardul Muncii and Piața Republicii in May 2022. The contractor is also responsible for electrification, 16 new stops and rehabilitation of the city’s tram depot. The project also includes highway improvements, installation of parallel cycleways and pavements and reconstruction of the 228m Triaj bridge.

Reșița (population 73 300) was one of the cities to benefit from the Ceaucescu-era initiative to reduce fuel consumption, opening a standard-gauge tramway in 1988. Construction standards were basic however, and with funds for maintenance limited the line quickly fell into disrepair, being truncated to Piața Republicii in 1995.

Following renovation, the Romanian-built trams were replaced by second-hand articulated trams from Dortmund in Germany. Continued lack of investment saw the system deteriorate further, with the last trams running in August 2011.

Mayor Ioan Popa campaigned on reintroducing tramway service in 2016, taking advantage of the availability of EU infrastructure funds. Plans to reinstate the tramway were approved in 2019. With construction expected to conclude at the end of the year, opening for passenger service is planned for early 2024.