The latest tram produced by the company Škoda Transportation began to operate with passengers in the streets of the old Turkish city of Konya. Škoda will deliver a total of sixty modern vehicles to Turkey.
”In less than a year after signing the contract we have managed to develop, produce and deliver the first tram to the Turkish market. The vehicle is currently in operation with passengers, who seem to be excited, at least according to the first comments. Moreover, a series production of trams for Konya has been initiated, so we plan to deliver most of the sixty vehicles by the end of the year,” says Josef Bernard, chief executive of Škoda Transportation.
The interesting features of the new trams for Konya include their design with a unique colourful motif selected by the residents of Konya themselves. The combination of green, white and silver colours was finally selected from several options. The silhouettes on the front of the vehicle which you can see from the side are the so-called Whirling Dervishes, which are closely connected to the Muslim culture and to the city of Konya.
“Transport of the vehicle from Pilsen to Konya took seven working days – by truck from Pilsen to the Italian city of Trieste, then by ferry to Mersin in Turkey and from there again by truck to Konya. The first of the latest tram series from the Škoda company arrived from Pilsen in Konya three months ago. This was followed by demanding tests, which the tram successfully passed,” adds project manager Václav Petr.
Up to 364 passengers can fit into the completely low-floor vehicle. An easy way of boarding and getting off the tram for persons with reduced mobility is also made possible by the low boarding edge. The tram has five sections and a length of 32.5 metres. The air-conditioning had to be adapted to the operating conditions, so its performance was increased which resulted in the need for a complex reworking of the roof and the electric distribution. Other above-standard equipment includes for example the built-in Wi-Fi receivers for wireless internet connection.
“The modern two-way tram 28T Konya combines the properties of a suburban public transport unit, subway and tram. On account of the fact that its operation is planned in a 4.5 km long tunnel, the vehicle is constructed as an underground tram – that is a light subway. This is also the reason why the materials used comply with higher requirements for fire protection. Also, the trams for Konya will be operated as two joined units, like a train, and so they are equipped with automatic coupling for easier connection,” comments Jaroslav Kulhánek, chief engineer of the project.
Besides the Turkish town of Konya, the trams from Škoda are also used in the Hungarian town of Miskolc, where another 31 vehicles are headed. Other Czech trams will also appear in the Slovak capital, Bratislava: thirty of them in total, both two-way and one-way trams. Apart from the continuing production of ForCity trams for the Prague Public Transit Company, the Škoda also faces the challenge of a record production volume this year. On top of all that, many trainings of specialists from China have been taking place in Pilsen, as they are preparing for the future production of up to 400 low-floor ForCity trams in China, since the company Škoda Transportation conceded a ten-year licence for production of these cutting edge vehicles to China.