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24 August 2022

Urbos Family of Light Rail Vehicles and Trams

CAF’s Urbos is a low-floor, modular, lightweight platform that can be configured to suit the needs of various operators.
Urbos is designed and developed by Spanish company CAF. Credit: AleWi/ Wikimedia Commons.
The low-floor, modular tram offers high standards of passenger comfort. Credit: Construcciones Y Auxiliar De Ferrocarriles, S.A.
The maximum number of passengers an Urbos tram can carry is 397. Credit: Construcciones Y Auxiliar De Ferrocarriles, S.A.

Urbos is a family of trams and light rail vehicles (LRVs) developed by Spanish railway and equipment manufacturer Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles (CAF).

The Urbos family includes a range of trams, LRVs, and tram-trains designed to meet the demanding requirements of operators.

Urbos design and features

Urbos has a 100% low floor design, which helps passengers to enter and exit the tramcar easily. The floor height, however, varies in certain versions.

The platform’s modern and futuristic interior and exterior design provides a unique travelling experience.

Its modular design can be tailored to cater to the specific needs of each city and operator. Customers can choose between different body ends and colours.

The tram comes in different configurations ranging between three and nine cars. Urbos also offers the flexibility to the customer to select the number of doors and their precise location on the side of each car.

The multi-purpose modules of Urbos can be used either as a seating area, an area to accommodate pushchairs, prams, and bikes, an area for persons with reduced mobilities, or as a luggage module. The module can also be arranged with flip-up seats.

The vehicle has been built with a focus on both passenger comfort and safety. The passenger seats are modular, lightweight, interchangeable, and vandal-proof. The onboard heating and air conditioning systems ensure a comfortable journey.

Passenger information systems are installed to keep passengers informed about the route, next stops, and arrival times.

Specifications of Urbos platform

The Urbos trams are designed for both single direction and bidirectional operations. They use a 750V DC power supply from overhead catenary. The bogies are suitable for operation on 1000mm and 1435mm gauges. The tram length ranges between 18m and 43m while the width varies from 2.3m to 2.65m.

Variants

The Urbos platform has different variants including Urbos 100, Urbos 70, Urbos AXL, Urbos TT, and Urbos LRV.

The Urbos 100 variant is a low floor tram, with easy access to all types of passengers. It is available in three-car, five-car, seven-car, and nine-car versions.

The Urbos 100 with a width of 2,65m has a capacity to transport between 129 and 397 passengers, based on the configuration.

The Urbos 70 variant can have a minimum of three cars on three bogies. The larger versions are also offered with five and seven cars. The three-car version can carry up to 162 passengers while the five and seven-car versions can carry up to 251 and 339 passengers, respectively.

Urbos AXL, which is a 70-100% low-floor tram, is designed to carry more passengers. It is fitted with rail axles on the bogies, allowing the tram to negotiate curves with ease. The three- and four-car versions can carry up to 187 and 256 passengers, respectively.

The Urbos TT variant is designed to optimise connections between cities and suburban areas. The tram-train is used for tram operations within the city. It also provides commuter services to nearby towns and villages.

The Urbos LRV comprises two articulated cars supported by three bogies for operation in cities. It provides an efficient, comfortable, and eco-friendly operation.

Orders and deliveries

CAF received an order worth more than €200m ($209.8m) from Montpellier Méditerranée Métropole, a French metropolitan area, in June 2022 for the supply of 60 trams, with an option for an additional 17 trams in the future. The company will supply its Urbos seven-car trams.

Israeli state-owned company NTA Metropolitan Mass Transit System (NTA) placed an order with CAF in January 2022. CAF agreed to design and supply 98 new low-floor trams, comprising five modules each, with an option for a further 32 units in the future. The scope also includes the supply of signalling, energy, and communication systems.

The order is part of a contract worth more than €1.01bn ($1.13bn), awarded to a consortium of CAF and construction firm Shapir for the construction of the Tel Aviv LRV Purple Line and the supply of rolling stock and associated equipment, as well as maintenance of the line for 25 years.

Companhia Carris de Ferro de Lisboa (Carris), a public transport company based in Lisbon, Portugal, selected CAF to supply 15 Urbos trams under a contract worth more than €43m ($51.79m) in April 2021. The contractual scope includes the supply of one-way, five-car units, as well as tram maintenance for five years.

De Lijn, a Belgian public transport company, placed an order to supply 146 Urbos trams in 2017. The company ordered 18 trams in June 2021, in the fifth batch of trams as part of the 2017 contract. The trams will be bi-directional, unlike those ordered in the previous four batches which are uni-directional.

Transport for New South Wales (TfNSW) also placed an order to supply four Urbos 100 LRV five-car units for the Inner West Light Rail Line in Sydney in June 2021. The deliveries are expected to be completed in early-2023.

CAF was contracted by the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) to supply 21 catenary-free trams for Birmingham, UK, in October 2019. The contract includes an option for 29 additional trams. The first, third-generation Urbos tram was delivered in May 2021.

The trams feature an onboard energy storage solution for a catenary-free operation. CAF supplied a fleet of 21 Urbos trams for Birmingham in 2012. The fleet was retrofitted with the onboard energy storage technology.

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