In early October, Skoda Transportation delivered the first of Skoda ForCity Smart 45 T tram ordered on 2 February 2021 by Dopravni podnik mesta Brna a.s. (DPMB), which operates public transport in Brno. The order comprises 40 vehicles with a contract value of €92.3 million. The new trams will gradually replace the Tatra KT8D5s produced between the 1980s and 1990s, of which there are 38 in Brno. Deliveries will last until 2026.
After Plzen and Ostrava, Brno will be the third city in the Czech Republic to see the new Skoda trams in operation. The new trams will also be used on the line to the university campus in south-west of Brno.
The second largest city in the Czech Republic, with a population of 379,000, Brno boasts an extensive tram network, spanning 72 km and in operation since 1869. The network also extends suburban, south of Brno, to the town of Modrice, which is reached by the 2- There are 12 lines in operation, which are very well served. In fact, the operating schedule foresees passages on average every 6 to 7 minutes during most hours of the day, except for line 7, which operates only during peak hours, and line 11, with passages every 15 minutes. Journey times per line are around 30 – 35 minutes. the service operates from 4 a.m. to about 11 p.m. 196 mln. is the number of people transported each year by the tram lines alone, and the 327 tram cars travel almost 15 mln km each year (source DPMB).
The features of the new Skoda streetcars
31 metres long, bidirectional, articulated in three sections, 2.5 metres wide, the Skoda ForCity can carry up to 233 passengers, 64 of whom are seated. The interior is very bright, and the driver’s console is complete and ergonomic. The technical features are interesting. Fewer gussets help to achieve better acoustic and thermal insulation of the vehicle. The design of the bogies is new, smaller and lighter, and the distribution between the bodies is different, with one bogie for the end bodies and two bogies on the central body to obtain a balanced distribution of weight between the bogies; a low load per axle has thus been obtained, while at the same time maintaining a swivelling type bogie, certainly less aggressive for the equipment in terms of cornering and weight, with undoubted benefits for maintenance of both the rolling stock and the equipment. The special design of the bogie also allowed for an increase in space in the passenger compartment, where up to 16 additional retractable seats can be fitted as desired.
The power of the tram is 560 kW, which allows it to reach a speed of 70 km/h, and guarantees excellent pick-up and ride quality.
The next four trams will be delivered in the first few months of 2023 and, after the necessary testing period, will be gradually put into service, starting the renewal of the Brno tram fleet.