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New Köln order favours Alstom

An early artist’s impression of the new Citadis for Köln. Image courtesy of Alstom

On 25 November it was confirmed that Köln (Cologne) is to place an order with an Alstom/Kiepe consortium for 64 new steel-bodied low-floor six-section double-ended articulated trams, with swivelling bogies, at a cost of EUR363m; there is an option for a further 47 cars.

The Rheinland’s largest city has a split tramway network, with some high-floor Stadtbahn style lines and the rest operated by low-floor trams serving low platforms. The low-floor network operated by KVB  was equipped with 193 trams built by Bombardier in 1995-2007. The oldest cars of this series are due for replacement in coming years.

Alstom is the consortium leader, with 60% by value of the contract, and will build 62 60m trams (effectively two single-ended but double-sided trams, coupled back-to-back) in its Barcelona factory, plus two 30m trams. The option includes 11 long and 25 short cars. Electrical equipment will come from the Düsseldorf works of Kiepe Electric. Bogies will come from Alstom’s French factory at Le Creusot.

Ten double doors on each side will ensure improved passenger, with the new design incorporating air-conditioning, a collision warning system, large panoramic windows, LED lighting and large digital passenger information panels.

The first pre-series vehicle will arrive for evaluation at the end of 2023, with series production following later in 2024. The new cars will replace 124 Bombardier K4000 trams on lines 1 and 9.