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New tram and S-Bahn orders for German capital

Bombardier will supply 47 additional Flexity trams for Berlin. (Image: Bombardier)

Bombardier Transportation announced on 21 December that it is to deliver a further 47 Flexity trams to Berlin operator BVG, which has taken up an option from an agreement signed in 2006. BVG’s latest option is worth EUR176m.

The deal provided for supply of up to 206 vehicles, making the Flexity the German capital’s standard tram and taking the place of earlier Tatra vehicles. Deliveries and orders have now reached 189 vehicles; the 100th was handed over in summer 2015. Bombardier is also to extend 20 sets from an earlier order from five to seven sections.

The next day it was announced that DB subsidiary S-Bahn Berlin GmbH, which operates Berlin’s metro network, had signed a deal with Stadler Pankow and Siemens for up to 1380 vehicles. A firm order has been placed for 106 trains. The trains – of which the first ten will be pre-production/test vehicles – are to be assembled in Berlin by Stadler. They will be the first Berlin S-Bahn trains to be air-conditioned.

The plan is to use the new trains on the Ring and southeastern feeder lines S8, S46 and S47, with the first entering service in 2020 and the remainder delivered up to 2023.

Currently, the S-Bahn system uses three different designs of trains, two of which date from before Germany’s reunification in 1990, while the Class 481/482 vehicles introduced in 1996 are the most numerous at 500 ‘quarter trains’ (1000 vehicles), the former West Berlin Class 480 (in use since 1986), and the eastern Class 485 (in use since 1987), remain in service.

Problems with the Class 481/482 trains from 2010 led to severe service disruptions and to refurbishment of older stock to help compensate.