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October 8, 2019updated 09 Oct 2019 11:10am

CAF to supply additional catenary-free trams for Birmingham

Spanish train builder Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles (CAF) has secured a contract from West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) to supply additional Urbos trams for Birmingham.

Spanish train builder Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles (CAF) has secured a contract from West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) to supply additional Urbos trams for Birmingham.

Under the €90m ($98.7m) contract, the Spanish company will provide 21 catenary-free trams with a provision for an additional order for another 29 trams.

Additionally, CAF will also provide technical support services and spares over a 30-year period.

The CAF Urbos tram will be bi-directional with two low-floor cabs, designed to operate at maximum speeds of 70kmph. They can also run on catenary-free sections using the battery On-board Energy Storage System (OESS).

Equipped with an OESS, the Urbos units eliminate the need for overhead electrification and protect the architecture in the city centre, the company said.

These trams will run on the Midland Metro line linking Birmingham and Wolverhampton, and the extension to Centenary Square.

The delivery of the first Urbos unit is expected in late 2021.

CAF UK director Richard Garner said: “CAF is delighted to have been selected to provide additional state-of-the-art Urbos trams for this ground-breaking UK metro line.

“The CAF Urbos tram will be the first example of battery technology being used in a high-intensity passenger service here in the UK. The Urbos modern, spacious design will provide passengers with a quiet, smooth and comfortable travel experience.”

In August, a consortium comprising CAF and construction firm Shapir secured a contract to build the extension of the Jerusalem tram project in Israel and mange the operations of the network.

Additionally, CAF Signalling secured three rail contracts in Europe with a combined value of €120m.

Last year, the company signed a contract worth more than €100m to supply 18 CAF Urbos trams to Indian company Larsen & Toubro.

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