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Production of new 52T trams for Prague has begun

Production has commenced on the new Škoda ForCity Plus Praha 52T trams in the Pilsen premises of Škoda Group.

Production of new 52T trams for Prague has begun

The initial stage involves the fabrication of sheet metal parts, which will be welded to form the body of the first tram for Prague. This marks the beginning of the production phase, following the extensive work by project teams from Škoda Group and the Prague Transport Company (DPP), which resulted in the final vehicle design and production documentation for the 52T trams. Initially, three trams will be manufactured for testing and homologation purposes, after which serial production will commence.

“This is the first step on the long road to the actual production of new trams for Prague. Although we have already invested thousands of hours into the project as part of its technical preparation – from drawings to technology development – we can now begin to see the fruits of our labour as the new trams take shape right before our eyes. I believe that thanks to the abilities of our employees, years of experience in the industry, and know-how, everything will go according to plan,” says Tomáš Ignačák, Vice-Chairman of the Board of Directors and President Regions CZ&SK and Central East Škoda Group.

Another significant milestone in tram production will be the completion of the first welded and painted car body, which will then undergo necessary tests. According to the production schedule, this should occur during the third quarter of this year. Technicians will subsequently install insulation, windows, complete technical equipment including all wiring, followed by individual interior elements, doors, and other necessary components such as the check-in and information system.

“The record development of tram lines and the planned completion of the tram circuit go hand in hand with the development of the DPP fleet. Based on the outcome of an open tender, Prague may acquire up to 200 modern 52T trams, with the first 20 available by the end of 2025. These new trams will be technologically advanced, featuring a 100% low-floor design with no steps. For enhanced passenger comfort, they will be equipped with air conditioning using eco-friendly refrigerant and energy-efficient indoor and outdoor LED lighting. Additionally, the trams will be very quiet, minimising disturbance in the city. The safety of other road users, especially pedestrians, will be well ensured thanks to a smart anti-collision system,” says Zdeněk Hřib, First Deputy Mayor of the Capital City of Prague for Transport and Chairman of the Supervisory Board of DPP.

“According to the production schedule, we expect the first finished 52T tram to be delivered to Prague at the beginning of 2025. After its revival, it will undergo testing and homologation on Prague’s rail infrastructure. During the first half of 2025, two more 52T vehicles should arrive in Prague, which will also be used for homologation, initially without passengers. We anticipate delivery of the first 20 of the 52T trams by December 2025 according to the contract,” says Jan Šurovský, Member of the Board of Directors and Technical Director of DPP.

The final design of the 52T trams for Prague

Since the official introduction of the 52T trams in January this year, the colour scheme of the vehicles has been fine-tuned with the involvement of designers. The trams will have a uniform PID design; however, minor adjustments have been made to the width and distribution of the colour stripes, primarily concerning the technological units and spare parts of the vehicle. Additionally, the project teams from Škoda Group and DPP, which met regularly during inspection days, have finalised interior lighting elements, the placement of control buttons, the form of the floor covering, the information system, and the equipment and ergonomics of the driver’s seat. Test runs and homologation of the new vehicle type in the spring of 2025 may require further adjustments, for example, in software or minor details, which will be reflected in the series production.

The new trams are designed specifically for Prague’s transport needs, particularly the diverse historical centre. The 52T tram features a five-section construction and operates on four bogies, with the outer two freely pivoting and the inner two partially pivoting. This design results in a spacious saloon that, at 32 metres long, offers 70 seats (mostly facing the direction of travel) and 173 standing places. Significantly, the tram’s interior is 100% low-floor. Passenger comfort will be enhanced by full-vehicle air conditioning and six large information screens. The tram is equipped with numerous advanced technologies such as a passenger counting system, regenerative braking, and a predictive safety anti-collision system.

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