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Praha network digitised for speed control

The Škoda 15T tram is a 100% low-floor car with rotating bogies, well-suited to complex networks in historical street layouts. (V. Waldin)

Dopravni podnik hlavniho mesta Prahy (DPHMP), the tramway network operator in the Czech capital Praha (Prague), has used its track-recording trailer to create a digitised record of the whole 142.4km (88.5-mile) system.
This digital track map has been loaded onto newly-developed software fitted to three Škoda 15T ForCity articulated trams designed to provide automatic speed control; coupled with onboard track lubrication equipment, the aim is to ensure that the many curves on sections of tramway in the old city are taken at the most appropriate speed to minimise wheel squeal and track wear and maximise passenger comfort while maintaining optimum service speed.
Project testing is in progress and, if successful, it is proposed to equip a further 22 15T trams with the software in 2017. Onboard track lubrication equipment has been used on the Praha network since January 2015 in order to reduce noise and wear. DPHMP expects to take delivery of 250 15T trams from Škoda by 2018; 9201-9388 were in service by the end of 2016.