Bombardier Transportation won an order to supply 40 additional Bombardier Flexity 2 trams to the Flemish transport operator De Lijn for the Belgian cities of Ghent and Antwerp.
The order is an option included in an initial contract signed in September 2012 and is valued at approximately $107 million. The order increases De Lijn's fleet of Flexity 2 trams from 48 to 88.
De Lijn announced their decision to order the additional trams at a public ceremony celebrating the official inauguration of new Flexity 2 trams in the city of Ghent on May 11. Not only will the new trams replace an aging fleet, but at nearly 141 feet long they can carry up to 40% more passengers than their predecessors. Passengers will also benefit from easy access and comfort as the low-floor vehicles are equipped with multi-purpose areas for those traveling with reduced mobility and storage space for bicycles and prams.
Roger Kesteloot, General Director, De Lijn, said, "We are happy to be able to provide these two Flemish cities with a much-needed capacity increase with this order. The initial reaction to "Albatros"- the name that our passengers chose for the Flexity 2 trams - in Ghent has been very positive. We are looking forward with anticipation to the deliveries of the 40 additional trams."
De Lijn and Bombardier have a long-standing partnership, not only for the supply of newly built trams, but also for structural revisions, refurbishment and crash repairs on De Lijn's existing fleet. Bombardier is also a partner in the EVTecLab field trial project where De Lijn will operate three electric buses equipped with Bombardier Primove technology for inductive charging in the city of Bruges.
Ghent will receive 16 bi-directional, seven-module vehicles with a length of approximately 141 feet and able to accommodate up to 378 passengers. Antwerp will receive 24 mono-directional trams. Fourteen of these will be seven-module vehicles with a length of approximately 141 feet and a capacity for 380 passengers. This is in addition to another ten, five-module vehicles with a length of approximately 101 feet and a capacity of up to 266 passengers.
All trams are 7.5 feet wide and equipped with Bombardier Flexx Urban 3000 meter gauge bogies with conventional axles that deliver a smooth ride as well as reduce wear and tear on both wheels and tracks. The motorized bogies also feature full suspension motors and gearboxes to keep ground vibrations to a minimum. In addition, all vehicles are equipped with the Bombardier Mitrac propulsion system and have heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems for drivers and passengers. The passenger HVAC system features improvements such as variable CO2 controlled fresh air flow to ensure an optimized climate for the passengers.
Worldwide, Bombardier now has more than 4,000 trams and light rail vehicles in successful revenue service, or on order.