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Bombardier completes the first new light rail vehicle frame for Dresdner Verkehrsbetriebe

Today, in the presence of Saxony's Prime Minister Michael Kretschmer and the Business Unit German Cities at Bombardier, Dirk Wunderlich, the Board Members of Dresdner Verkehrsbetriebe AG (DVB) Andreas Hemmersbach and Lars Seiffert, accepted the car body shell of the first new light rail vehicle (LRV) for Dresden, Germany. Bombardier Transportation began building the first vehicle at the Görlitz site in August this year.

Bombardier completes the first new light rail vehicle frame for Dresdner Verkehrsbetriebe
  • The car bodies for DVB are one of the first light rail projects to be built on the newly installed production line in Görlitz
  • DVB accepted the car body shell

"The colleagues at Bombardier are doing an excellent job and I was able to see this for myself today," praised DVB Board Member Andreas Hemmersbach. His colleague Lars Seifert added, “Despite all the difficulties linked to the pandemic, this project, which is of crucial importance to us, is making steady progress. We thank the rail experts from Bombardier and DVB for this and for their great personal commitment.”

Together with the DVB project managers, they tested the quality of the first car bodies and officially approved them. Bombardier Transportation is manufacturing a total of 30 new LRVs for Dresden. The car bodies will initially be built at Bombardier’s Görlitz site, while the final assembly will take place at the Bautzen site from February 2021.

“The car bodies for DVB are one of the first light rail projects to be built on the newly installed production line in Görlitz. I am very pleased that we have reached this important milestone on schedule and will soon be able to start the final assembly on the new FLEXITY trams.”
- Dirk Wunderlich, Head of Business Unit German Cities at Bombardier Transportation

The new LRV is designated NGT DX DD. NGT stands for “Niederflurgelenktriebwagen” (low-floor articulated railcar), DX for bogie vehicle with ten axles and DD for Dresden. The vehicle consists of five cars, connected to each other by joints. Each car body consists of the underframe, the side walls and the roof, plus the end cars will also receive fronts. These main assemblies are produced and welded at the Bombardier site in Görlitz. First, the front and side walls are placed on the undercarriage, followed by the roof. If everything fits correctly, the parts are welded together and straightened using heat.

In addition, the welders attach small brackets which are later used to fasten cables and pipes. To ensure all dimensions comply with the specifications and that the welds are of the required quality, the car bodies are carefully inspected and measured, especially the welding seams which are meticulously checked. They are analyzed with an X-ray machine and then evaluated by experts.

The underframe is made of high-strength stainless steel. The roof and side walls are made of lighter, stainless steel. While the front and its individual parts are cut, edged, deburred and welded together in the Görlitz factory, the roof parts and side walls are produced in Bautzen and delivered from there to Görlitz.

Bombardier completes the first new light rail vehicle frame for Dresdner Verkehrsbetriebe
From left to right: Carsten Liebig, Site General Manager Görlitz, Bombardier (retiring at the end of 2020), Dirk Wunderlich, Head of Business Unit German Cities, Bombardier, Mike Barke, BSG, Octavian Ursu, Mayor of Görlitz, Michael Kretschmer, Prime Minister Saxony, Robert Heuser, New Site General Manager Görlitz, Bombardier, Andreas Hemmersbach, Board member, DVB and Lars Seiffert, Board member, DVB with first car body for Dresden.

Delivery scheduled for August 2021
The first new LRV is scheduled to arrive in Dresden in August 2021. After commissioning and various test runs on the network, it is expected to start trial service with passengers in December 2021. As of 2022, a new tram is to be delivered to DVB every three weeks. These will undergo a short commissioning phase before they enter service. All new LRVs are to be delivered to DVB by autumn 2023.

The first twelve new LRVs will be used on line 2 between Kleinzschachwitz and Gorbitz. As soon as the Großenhainer Straße has been extended, the following eleven vehicles will be able to operate on Line 3 between Wilder Mann and Coschütz. The two lines are among the most popular in the DVB network. In the medium term, there is a further option for the use of the vehicles on Line 1.

The NGT DX DD is almost 45 metres long and 2.65 metres wide. This makes it around 35 centimetres wider than the current trams in Dresden. The new LRV can accommodate up to 290 passengers – that’s 30 more than in DVB’s longest tram, the NGT D12 DD. The car body design is only wider above the edge of the platform, so that no station needs to be adapted. But the trams will need more room between the tracks to pass each other without touching. Almost 80 per cent of the DVB track network is already prepared for the wider tracks. For use on Line 7, DVB still has to wait for the expansion of Königsbrücker Strasse and parts of Kesselsdorf and Königsbrücker Landstrasse. Line 7 is the most frequently used tram line in Dresden.

Passenger feedback incorporated
In January 2020, around 16,000 visitors had a closer look at the 1:1 model of the new light rail system in the Transport Museum. The DVB market research incorporated feedback from about 2,000 citizens. Some change requests led to adjustments in the interior design, for example in the choice of seats.

In August 2019, DVB commissioned the rail vehicle manufacturer Bombardier Transportation to build the new LRVs. The costs per vehicle amount to around 4.2 million euro. The total investment volume, including production, service and long-term maintenance, is around 197 million euro. The Free State of Saxony is providing DVB with 102.8 million euro in funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) for the purchase of the LRVs.

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