Czech transportation company Skoda Transportation has signed an eight-year contract with the Prague Public Transit Company (DPP) for the purchase of 40 new Praha 52T trams with an added option to deliver up to 160 more.

Featuring a total contract value of CZK 16.6bn ($730m) the tender represents one of the largest investments in new trams ever witnessed by DPP.

According to Skoda, the first 20 trams are set to arrive in Prague in Q4 2025 with the next 20 locomotives entering by Q4 2026.

The “Skoda ForCity Plus Praha 52T” trams follow a “modern design” featuring a 100% low-floor tram layout for better accessibility. The 32-metre-long units feature full carriage air conditioning, an anti-collision system and automatic passenger counting.

Tomáš Ignačák, Vice-Chairman of the Board of Directors and President CZ&SK and Central East Regions at Škoda Group emphasised the trams technical features.

Ignačák said: “We have managed to develop and prepare a tram that is not only technically adapted to the demanding operation in Prague streets and fits into the overall appearance of the city, but at the same time elevates the overall travel experience to a higher level.

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By GlobalData

“In the running solution, we have revived the tram’s electromechanical brakes after many years, which have lower maintenance costs and are much more environmentally friendly than hydraulic brakes”.

Credit: Skoda

The new trams will feature a 243 total capacity, electro-mechanical brakes and a designed speed of 80km/h. As stated by Skoda, the braking system was chosen for its “efficiency and sustainability” offering an oil-free economy and low operating costs.

Petr Witowski, CEO of DPP, explained the details of both the tender process and contract signing.

Witowski said: “We have approached this public contract for the purchase of up to 200 new trams with the utmost care, just like other tenders. We signed the contract with the winner at the end of 2023, and teams from both parties are now working on fine-tuning the technical details for the production documentation. I firmly believe that the production and delivery of new vehicles will continue on schedule”.

“The option allows us to purchase up to 160 additional vehicles and gradually replace a substantial part of the current high-floor vehicles if we can secure financing for the purchase with the City of Prague. If we were to exercise the contract in full, delivery of the last vehicle would fall in 2032”.

Aligning with increasing safety demands across the rail industry, Skoda claims each new tram will be equipped with a Skoda anti-collision system implementing dual LiDAR and HD-camera technologies.

“Supplying trams to Prague, one of the largest and most demanding tram operations in the world, is very prestigious for us, but it is also a great commitment”, added Ignačák.