New trams will twist Katowice

On Tuesday, Tramwaje Śląskie officially presented its latest purchase – a new tram called Twist. The operator of the Upper Silesian network of tram infrastructure now owns the fleet of 30 new vehicles. Each of these cost almost PLN 6 million. The first Twist will start to carry passengers in Katowice on Wednesday, 14th of May, and will serve the line 35.

Official presentation of Twist
Official presentation of Twist

Twist has been designed to serve in medium-sized cities and on routes with smaller passenger streams. The tram is 32 meters long and can carry 226 passengers, of which 77 on seats. The 3-car version of Tramwaje Śląskie’s vehicles features four rotating bogies and 16 wheels to reduce the pressure exerted on rails, enabling fewer costly repairs. „We deliver trams, which are prepared to serve for 30 years or even longer” – commented Marcin Jędryczka, member of the board and director of marketing and development at PESA Bydgoszcz.

The vehicles’ drive system enables energy recuperation during braking and returning it to the network. Another important advantage of the drive is the vehicle’s ability to ride in emergency conditions, using the energy stored in the battery.

The share of low floor is 73,5% in each of the trams ordered for the Katowice agglomeration. The floor level in the entry zone is 350 mm over the rail head what helps the disabled use the tram, while 7 doors speeds up passenger exchange. Twist features an information and advertising system, based on liquid crystal displays, system of sound information and an inside and outside monitoring system.

Twist Step 2012N was manufactured by PESA Bydgoszcz. Tramwaje Śląskie spent net PLN 164 million to purchase the fleet. PESA has already delivered 12 vehicles of the 30 ordered trams. The remaining part will be provided by the manufacturer by the end of Q3 2014. „We want to buy another 12 new trams in 2015. Also, about 45 new vehicles are expected to be purchased by our company between the years 2016-2018” – said Tadeusz Freisler, president of the board of Tramwaje Śląskie.

The purchase of the 30 vehicles fleet is co-financed by the European Union within the project called „modernization of the tramway and trolleybus infrastructure together with the accompanying infrastructure in the Upper Silesian agglomeration”. The undertaking includes the modernization and expansion of the tramway infrastructure on the main transport trackts connecting Bytom, Chorzów, Katowice, Ruda Śląska, Sosnowiec and Zabrze, as well as the modernization of trolleybus traction and the construction of park&ride infrastructure in the city of Tychy. Apart from the new 30 trams, Tramwaje Śląskie will buy 15 low-floor trolleybuses and will modernize 75 second-hand trams. The gross value of the project is PLN 851,47 million.