The Variobahn from Stadler Pankow GmbH has successfully completed its test run and will shortly be delivered to London. Last summer, British tram operator London Tramlink ordered six Variobahn five-carriage trams, with an option on eight more vehicles, in order to provide modern transport capacity to meet increasing demand in the Croydon tram network.
The Variobahn already underwent additional test runs on the premises of Chemnitzer Verkehrs-AG (CVAG) in late 2011. Prior to this, a representative of TAB Sachsen had checked the vehicle over and approved it for tests on the CVAG network.
Michael Daum, Director of Stadler Pankow GmbH, explains: “The Variobahn will be delivered to London on schedule in mid-January for driver training.” He continues: “We are delighted about this first order from Great Britain. It goes to show that the modular construction system is not only a popular one in Germany, but also goes down well across Europe.” The modular construction produces individual trams that are tailored to the relevant infrastructure and specifications of the operator. They are extremely flexible in terms of their length, width, track gauge and contact wire voltage.
The Variobahn for Croydon offers a real benefit for passengers with restricted mobility. The 100% low flooring with a maximum floor height of 385 mm guarantees easy embarking. The bidirectional vehicles can seat 72 with standing room for 134 passengers, and can reach maximum speeds of 80 km/h. The Variobahn has a length of 32,370 mm and a width of 2,650 mm. As well as state-of-the-art equipment, the vehicles have comfort features such as air-conditioned passenger and driver compartments and ergonomically designed driver cabins. The tram also meets the fire safety requirements for vehicles used in tunnels in accordance with DIN 5510. As of spring 2012, all six vehicles will be available for service on the Croydon tram network.