11 May 2012

Sleek-looking designs have been unveiled for new trams which will be introduced onto the NET tram system.

Sleek-looking designs have been unveiled for new trams which will be introduced onto the Nottingham Express Transit (NET) tram system.

As part of the major project to extend Nottingham’s tram network two new lines to Chilwell and Clifton are currently under construction and an additional 22 new trams are required to operate the expanded services, which are expected to provide for around 20 million passenger journeys a year from late 2014.

The new trams are being provided by Alstom, a world leader in transport infrastructure and member of the Tramlink Nottingham consortium which, last December, won a 22 year concession to build the new lines and operate the network.

Councillor Jane Urquhart, Portfolio Holder for Planning and Transportation at Nottingham City Council, said: “We are delighted with the iconic design of the new trams, they are very much in keeping with NET’s strong visual identity and the Council’s vision for a world-class tram network.

Once completed, the expanded network will carry more than double the number of passengers per year than the current system on a more frequent service. It will be one of the most modern fleets in the country and something in which the city can take great pride.

“The Council obviously wants the best for Nottingham and the vehicles are based on Alstom’s hugely successful Citadis range which is already used on leading tram networks in many parts of the world.”

The expanded tram network will see trams travel over Nottingham Station to serve the south and south west of the city, with work already underway to build the first of three interconnecting tram bridges over Nottingham Station, which is also undergoing a £67 million redevelopment to create a world-class transport interchange.

Terence Watson, Managing Director of Alstom Transport UK and Ireland, explained: “The Citadis trams for Nottingham will be built using proven technological components. Working with Nottingham City Council and Tramlink, Alstom Transport’s design department has developed the vehicles to make them unique to Nottingham and they will blend harmoniously with the existing fleet, while retaining a distinctive look.”

Enhancements to the design include a finely contoured streamlined silhouette of the vehicle with light, airy and contemporary interiors. Mobility–impaired passengers will find that care has also been taken to ensure the layout and interior systems correspond to those of the existing trams.

Tramlink Nottingham Chief Executive, Phil Hewitt, said: “These are excellent vehicles and we’re delighted to provide a truly eye-catching tram for the City of Nottingham.”

A total of 36 other major cities throughout the world have chosen Citadis for their tram systems, including Paris, Madrid, Dublin, Istanbul and Melbourne. The trams have carried more than 4 billion passengers and have demonstrated their reliability over more than 250 million km in service.

While many local people and employers are already benefiting from the construction of two new tram lines in Nottingham, the production of the tram vehicles themselves will take place in Europe. However local firms could benefit from the ongoing maintenance of the vehicles which will take place in Nottingham.

The new trams will be built in Alstom’s Barcelona plant this summer and the first vehicles are planned to be introduced on the current system in two years time.