Diesel-electric hybrid tram train
Citylink is a series of tram-trains designed to be programmed as an urban tram or an intercity train.
Manufactured by Swiss railway rolling stock manufacturer Stadler at its facility in Valencia, Spain, Citylink family of light-rail vehicles are barrier-free and low-floor units. The trains are designed to provide passengers with safe and comfortable journeys.
Designed for both metre gauge and standard gauge networks, Citylink is operational in the UK, Spain and Germany. Hungary is the latest customer of the tram-train. The first Citylink train entered service on the Alicante network in Spain in 2003. Stadler has so far received orders for 165 units, of which 111 are currently in commercial service.
The Citylink light rail vehicle (LRV) currently operates in Karlsruhe and Chemnitz in Germany, Alicante in Spain, Sheffield in the UK, and Puebla in Mexico. It will also enter service with the South Wales Metro by 2022.
The new tram-trains for Hungary will operate on the tram networks of Szeged and Hódmezővásárhely, becoming the nation’s first tram-trains.
The barrier-free tram type Citylink has a low-floor configuration throughout the length of the vehicle. It is designed to provide improved acoustic insulation while ensuring a smooth and quiet operation.
Citylink LRVs are bi-directional and bi-mode vehicles designed with a modern passenger information system, air conditioning, a bright, comfortable interior, and an advanced onboard surveillance CCTV camera system.
Citylink enables easy access for different platform heights. It has four double-leaf doors on each side which can be placed at different heights. The windows of the tram-train are designed to provide passengers with panoramic views.
The bi-directional light rail vehicles can be used for both train and tramway operations at 100km/h. In Hungary, the vehicles will travel on the Szeged-Hódmezővásárhely tramway lines at a maximum speed of 50km/h, while the operations on the open line between the two cities will be diesel-powered at a permitted speed of 100km/hr. The difference in speeds is due to the traffic regulations in the region.
The vehicles can run on 750V DC overhead voltage on the tram networks and 25kV AC overhead voltage mainline railway network in the UK. In Hungary, the 37m-long, 2.6m-wide and 3.8m-high LRVs will operate on 600V DC overhead in diesel mode on the railway line connecting Szeged and Hódmezövásárhely and in electric mode on the tram networks.
The dual-voltage vehicles have been built in compliance with the latest safety requirements of European standards EN 12663 P-III and EN 15227 C-III.
The new tram-trains will have a seating capacity to accommodate 216 passengers, of which 92 can be seated in 76 fixed seats and 16 folding seats. The seating configuration will allow four passengers per 1m² area.
The vehicles will have amenities such as spaces for wheelchair users, multi-functional spaces, and room for eight bicycles or four prams.
The trains feature Wi-Fi connectivity and USB connectors for charging mobile phones and laptops.
The first order for Citylink vehicles was placed by Spanish railway company Ferrocarriles de la Generalitat Valenciana for the Alicante network.
Stadle received an order from the South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive (SYPTE) to deliver seven Citylink trains to operate on the UK’s first train-tram system in June 2013. The trains cover the Supertram network, and the national rail network between Sheffield and Rotherham. Stadler will deliver 36 three-car Citylink tram-trains for the Wales region under a contract with railway franchise Wales and Borders.
Germany’s Verkehrsverbund Mittelsachsen (VMS) reached a deal for eight hybrid tram trains for the Chemnitzer Modell railway project that connects the Chemnitz tram line with the commuter rail network in August 2012. It ordered four more Citylink units in July 2015 for the second phase of the project.
Hungarian passenger service operator MÁV-START and Stadler signed a contract for the supply of eight trams in May 2017. The contract also includes an option for four additional units. The bi-directional diesel-electric hybrid tram-trains will link the tram systems of Szeged and Hódmezövásárhely without transhipments.
The first Citylink tram-train prototype was delivered to MÁV-START in Hungary in January 2021. The remaining seven vehicles are expected to be delivered in 2021, with operations set to begin in the last quarter of the year.
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