Dutch transit operator HTM has introduced the Siemens Avenio tram on the new light rail line 2 in The Hague, Netherlands.

Line 2 connects the western suburb of Kraayenstein with Leidschendam in the north-east via The Hague’s main station

Test runs of the Avenio light rail vehicle (LRV) has begun on line 11, the next route to become operational.

Lines 1, 9, 15 and 17 will enter service in the future.

In order to allow operation of the new low-floor trams, the city is carrying out extensive structural changes along the lines with new platforms and track.

More than half of the tracks and stops have already been converted to accommodate the new trams.

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"By virtue of its exceptionally smooth and quiet operating profile, it is ultimately passengers who will benefit the most from the Avenio."

HTM CEO Jaap Bierman said: "Before commencing passenger services, we carried out extensive tests, as we make no compromise when it comes to safety.

"Siemens has built the trams according to our requirements and wishes, and it is now time for our passengers to take over."

In November 2011, HTM placed a €100m order with Siemens for 40 vehicles, and in March 2014, exercised an option for an additional 20 Avenio type trams.

The 60 Avenio trams are being assembled at Siemen’s Simmering plant in Vienna, Austria.

Siemens Urban Transport CEO Sandra Gott-Karlbauer said: "The Hague is the second city to operate passenger services with our trams.

"The test runs have already shown that the Avenio is well-equipped for this city’s tram network, which is in service more than 150 years. By virtue of its exceptionally smooth and quiet operating profile, it is ultimately passengers who will benefit the most from the Avenio."

The 35m-long Avenio trams will be capable of accommodating 70 seated and 168 standing passengers and its bogies are designed to rotate up to 4.5°.

The trams have been equipped with low-noise electrical braking, rubber-sprung wheel tyres and ancillary units that can be switched off when the vehicle is not in motion.

The fully sprung traction drive also reduces noise and vibration.

Image: Avenio tram commences passenger service in The Hague. Photo: courtesy of Siemens.