German public transport operator Bogestra has placed an order with Stadler to deliver eight additional Variobahn trams to strengthen its light rail fleet.

The latest order comes two months after the German operator commissioned Stadler to build six city-rail vehicles and modernise 25 B80D trains.

Following the delivery of eight Variobahn trams, Bogestra fleet will expand to 107 Stadler vehicles.

Stadler Berlin tram sales head Patrick Sefzik said: “We are very pleased to have received an order for eight Variobahn option vehicles following on from the contract signed in April of this year for six more Tango vehicles.

“It makes us proud to have been chosen to provide almost the entire light-rail and tram fleet for Bogestra after more than 14 years of successful, close cooperation.”

Under the contract, deliveries of the Variobahn trams are slated to begin from mid-2021.

Once delivered, they will be used on the metre-gauge network in the urban areas of Bochum, Gelsenkirchen, Herne, Hattingen and Witten.

The five-car bidirectional vehicles can accommodate around 165 passengers. The 30m vehicles have a low floor design with step-free access throughout.

Each vehicle features a bright passenger area and five external swinging-sliding doors on each side to facilitate boarding and passenger flow.

Bogestra vehicles division manager Arndt Hartmann said: “Counting the eight new Variobahn trams, we will then have a total of 95 of these vehicles.

“This means that we will be well equipped to meet future demands in terms of vehicle requirements.

“With video protection, foldup ramps and air conditioning, the trains have equipment that passengers appreciate.”

Stadler was selected as the preferred bidder by German public transport authority Schleswig Holstein (NAH.SH) to supply 55 battery-powered FLIRT Akku multiple units.