On 25 April Cottbus City Council (Germany) approved the joint procurement of 20 trams in co-ordination with the transport undertakings in Brandenburg an der Havel and Frankfurt/Oder.
Cottbusverkehr is to order seven trams with an option for a further 13; Brandenburg requires four, with an option for eight more. Frankfurt/Oder will order 13.
The tendering process is expected to begin this month for the 30m vehicles, with a requirement for a 60% low-floor design and a passenger capacity of 150. All three cities have metre-gauge tramways, which are electrified at 600V dc.
It is anticipated that an order can be placed later in 2018 with the first deliveries beginning in 2020.
The new fleets are to replace ageing Tatra KTNF6 cars that date from the 1980s in both Cottbus and Brandenburg that are becoming increasingly maintenance intensive. Frankfurt/Oder is likely to take a similar approach, removing some of its 1980s KT4D cars.
As 75% of Cottbusverkehr passengers use the tram, more intensive services rely on fleet availability and this has become a significant challenge. Additionally, changes to the law require full accessibility of public transport in Brandenburg from 1 January 2022; the Land of Brandenburg has committed EUR48m for investment in barrier-free public transport by this date.
The order could be worth EUR120m if all the options for up to 45 trams are exercised.