Just a few days ago, on 14 November 2022, the last of the contracted fourteen low-floor trams for public transport in the city of Liepāja, Latvia, left the manufacturing facility at KONČAR – Electric Vehicles and is now on route to the customer, where it is expected to arrive on 20 November.
As reported earlier, KONČAR – Electric Vehicles and Liepājas tramvajs signed an agreement in November 2018 for the delivery of six low-floor trams, with the option of additional delivery. In late August 2020, Liepājas tramvajs secured funds for six more trams, followed by two trams in September 2021, when KONČAR was yet again entrusted with the task of manufacturing and delivery.
The vehicles were co-funded by the EU as part of the Comprehensive Reconstruction of Tram Route and Adjacent Territory programme, and the value of this agreement stands at nearly €21 million.
The first two trams were commissioned on 18 March 2021, marking the 396th birthday of the city of Liepāja. The customer has highly praised the collaboration with KONČAR:
“We have developed a very good relationship with experts from KONČAR – Electric Vehicles”, said Aigars Puks, CEO of Liepājas tramvajs, adding: “Naturally, unforeseen situations come up in the course of such a large-scale complex project. When the trams were commissioned and started operating on our tracks, we had to adjust certain features to the specific city conditions on the spot. Initially, there was also a degree of precariousness among the drivers because the new driving mode is completely different. However, our colleagues from Croatia were always responsive and ready to efficiently address any challenges. We have been cooperating closely on each project detail, and we are confident that this great collaboration will continue as we expect the new trams to run for the next 30 to 40 years. In addition to many advantages, our citizens have been complementary about the design of the vehicles, and they have pointed out that the red and white trams fit perfectly into the city landscape.”
The low-floor tram and all associated sub-systems have been developed by KONČAR Group members. The trams boast a variety of KONČAR’s proprietary solutions for key sub-systems, such as the main electric drive, auxiliary power supply systems, control and communication systems, steel structures for driving wheel sets, bogies and the like. The vehicles are equipped with a controlled hydro-pneumatic suspension system, which enables the floor height to be adjusted to the track conditions. They are also air-conditioned, equipped with video surveillance and a passenger announcement system.
It should be pointed out that all vehicles were delivered on time – despite complex epidemiological conditions, supply chain disruptions, surging prices of raw materials and commodities, and other challenges. Our employees and partners can be credited with this success, as they worked hard, sometimes in impossible conditions, in order to make it possible for every tram to arrive to Liepāja on time.