Bombardier Transportation and its consortium partner Alstom will supply a further 68 Cobra trams to Verkehrsbetriebe Zürich, the transport authority of the city of Zurich. Following the thorough testing of six preproduction trial vehicles delivered in 2001, the Zurich Cobra fleet will thus encompass 74 vehicles. The new order for 68 trams is valued at approximately $239 million Cdn (233 million Swiss Francs), and Bombardier's share of the contract amounts to some $194 million Cdn (190 million Swiss Francs). The vehicles are scheduled for delivery as of mid-2005.
As the leading partner in the consortium, Bombardier Transportation is responsible for the carbody, propulsion system, assembly and commissioning of the vehicles, with Alstom supplying the running gear and brake system.
Commenting on the new order, Thomas Portmann, Director of Verkehrsbetriebe Zürich, stated: "The Cobra is and will remain our first choice. It is technically and visually attractive, and the passengers are delighted."
"The Cobra vehicles are further proof of the strengths of Bombardier," said Walter Grawenhoff, President, Light Rail Vehicles, Bombardier Transportation. "We once again meet our customer's challenges with creative technical concepts and tailor-made solutions, as we recently did for the city of Geneva. This is clearly the best way to broaden our position as one of the world’s leading tram suppliers."
The five-car articulated, end-to-end low-floor tram has been developed to comply with the requirements specified by the customer for the city of Zurich. Due to the specific local circumstances, the length of the vehicles may not exceed 37 meters. In order to provide a high passenger carrying capacity despite this limitation, the carbody width has been extended 20 centimetres compared with the trams currently operating in Zurich. Seven wide doors with a passenger boarding height of just 35 centimetres allow rapid boarding and alighting.
Large-area windows, modern passenger information systems and the spacious interior of the vehicles will turn tram travel in Zurich in future into an exciting experience. The pioneering crash concept with absorbers at the front end will increase passive safety for both passengers and other road users.
Running gear with wheel pairs radially steered via the car articulation units significantly reduces rail and wheel wear. The trams are also equipped with state-of-the-art IGBT power converter technology from the Bombardier MITRAC product family, which, like the traction motors, incorporates environment-friendly water cooling.
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