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Rome plans EUR458m tram fleet renewal

Rome’s 7000 Series trams are from a 1940s design, albeit modernised over the decades. Since the start of the century they have returned to a variant of the original two-tone green livery. O. Contreras López / CC BY-ND 2.0

Rome is progressing plans to purchase up to 121 new trams under a six-year framework expected to ultimately be worth EUR458m.

Tender documents for modern 100% low-floor vehicles to replace the Italian capital’s 70-plus-year-old Stanga-built trams and expand the fleet were published at the end of January. The specification calls for 30-35m trams, with a capacity for at least 190 passengers, and onboard energy storage for the majority of the fleet to allow for ‘off-wire’ operation.

The initial contract is worth a reported EUR154.5m and would see 40 trams delivered to operator ATAC, the first within 22 months and thereafter at a rate of two per month. This contract would include provision for a five-year vehicle warranty and related spares and maintenance.

A second batch of 66 trams is valued at EUR251m, while a third tranche would see 15 trams delivered to a value of EUR52.5m.

Commissioning of the first new vehicle is expected to take six months, with three months for the second and a month per tram for the rest of the base order. Extra credit will be given during the evaluation of bids for manufacturers who can improve upon these schedules. The deadline for bids is 30 May,

The fleet renewal follows agreement by the city in November 2022, described by Councillor for Mobility Eugenio Patanè as an “historic turning point”, adding that “we are buying trams for Rome for the next 30 years” and emphasising the aim that the first trams could be service in time for the Roman Catholic Jubilee celebrations in 2025.

New vehicles are needed not only for replacement of the classic Stanga articulated cars (which date from 1947 onwards with modernisation in the 1980s) but for system expansion as seven new lines are planned to be built over the coming years.

Rome also has a programme of infrastructure renewal, with the creation of a new depot at Gianicolense and rebuilding of Centocelle and Porta Maggiore.