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Leipzig, Görlitz and Zwickau join forces for new trams

From left: Ulf Middelberg (Leipziger Verkehrsbetriebe), Uwe Rößler (Städtische Verkehrsbetriebe Zwickau), Sven Sellig (Görlitzer Verkehrsbetriebe), Samuel Kermelk (HeiterBlick) and Alexander Ketterl (Kiepe Electric) celebrate the signing of the contract, on 15 December. Image courtesy of LVB

The EUR600m contract for the delivery of up to 155 new trams to the German cities of Leipzig, Görlitz and Zwickau was signed with the LEIWAG consortium of HeiterBlick and Kiepe on 15 December. The award follows the launch of the ‘Sachsen Straßenbahn der Zukunft’ (Future Tram) joint procurement in the summer of 2019.

The first indicative offers were received in October 2020 and the programme is expected to run until 2030. The EUR600m contract value includes development costs, future options and spare parts. It is estimated that the joint procurement will save up to EUR27m in one-off costs.

The consortium has said that two-thirds of the manufacturing and supply of materials for the new trams would be placed in central Germany, with almost 40% in Saxony. With a view to future technologies, the contract includes options for driver assistance systems and HeiterBlick’s under-development hydrogen fuel cell traction package (see TAUT 1001).

Leipzig’s LVB has confirmed an order for 25 trams, with options for up to 105 more. These 45m-long, 2.4m-wide versions should replace life-expired NGT8 vehicles (delivered between 1994 and 1998) on the 1458mm-gauge network from 2024.

Görlitz will receive eight cars, all 30m single-ended trams, and Zwickau will receive six, where the new low-floor trams will enable replacement of the city’s remaining high-floor Tatra KT4DC cars. This, alongside modernisation of existing vehicles, will provide operator SVZ with a fully-accessible fleet.