Combino tram runs on Line 26 in Amsterdam, source: GVB

Coupled trams will run in Amsterdam

Dutch public transport operator GVB is preparing to the launch of five-section coupled trams in Amsterdam. This move will improve passenger service between Amsterdam Centraal station and IJburg in rush hours. The passengers will be able to take the coupled trams from summer onwards.

By that time, GVB must carefully test the coupled trams in order to check the potential challenges and, most importantly, train its staff to operate the longer vehicles. “First, you have to bear in mind that a coupled tram will be 60 metres long. That is huge. For a driver, this means that he or she must perform extra checks at the start or during the drive. It must, of course, be safe for our travellers, so we want to have everything tested well,” said Toni Garcia Panadero, a project manager for rail equipment at GVB, who is responsible for these trials.

New equipment

GVB is examining the longer trams on Line 26 that connects Amsterdam Centraal railway station to the eastward residential area of IJburg. Starting from this summer, they will run on this route regularly. For coupled service, the public transport operator will use 32 Combino five-section trams (13G and 14G series according to the GVB classification) produced by Siemens Mobility in the 2000s. To operate them in a longer formation, GVB is installing the new onboard equipment. It is necessary for safety requirements and informing the passengers.

“We install new hardware and software for this and that is always accompanied by teething problems. We want to get a quick picture of this so that we can tackle the most important bottlenecks immediately. That is also very exciting for us because you can never predict in advance what you will encounter during testing,” specified Toni Garcia Panadero. Moreover, GVB plans to reconstruct its workshop in Diemen for the coupled trams.

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Author: Mykola Zasiadko

Mykola Zasiadko is editor of online trade magazines RailTech.com and RailFreight.com.

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