The Flexity Classic is a model of light-rail tram manufactured by Bombardier. Although it is marketed as the most traditionally-designed member of the Flexity family, it is nevertheless a modern bi-directional articulated tram with a low-floor section allowing improved accessibility, especially to passengers in wheelchairs. Flexity Classic runs on standard gauge 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 1⁄2 in) as well as metre gauge 1,000 mm (3 ft 3 3⁄8 in) in Essen, 1,450 mm (4 ft 9 3⁄32 in) in Dresden and 1,458 mm (4 ft 9 13⁄32 in) in Leipzig.
It is used by a number of German cities, Norrköping and Stockholm, Sweden; in Kraków and Gdańsk, Poland. Flexity Classics were chosen to replace heritage trams used on the Glenelg tramline in Adelaide, Australia, as they are a proven design and have low maintenance requirements. This variant has vigilance control.
In 2006, TransAdelaide now Public Transport Services (PTS) as part of DTEI began to replace the H class cars operating on their Glenelg tramway with a fleet of eleven Flexity Classic trams. The first of the new Flexitys was delivered to the Glengowrie depot in November 2005 and entered public service on 9 January 2006. Delivery continued in small batches through 2006, with new trams operating the Glenelg line side-by-side with the H-class in the interim.
The Flexitys are painted in a standard Adelaide Metro colour scheme of white, with yellow, blue and red ends, very similar to Adelaide’s metropolitan bus fleet, although many now run corporate advertising top-to-bottom on the sides and only have the "safety yellow" ends. They have a low floor layout throughout, except over the bogies, and are accessible to pushchairs and wheelchairs through each of the three sets of doors. The new cars have many features common in modern public transit vehicles which are absent on the H-class – for example, airconditioning, heating, recorded video surveillance and automated audio and visual announcements of the next stop. TransAdelaide continues to operate the Flexitys with roving conductors, although these are not now needed for safe operation of the cars.
Unlike the H-class, Flexitys cannot be coupled into two-car sets at busy times and always run as a single vehicle. The internal layout is designed to accommodate wheelchairs and large numbers of standing passengers. The relative lack of seating (compared to the H-class), together with other minor teething problems, resulted in some adverse comments from commuters and local media when the Flexitys first entered service.
The original unit 103 was destroyed during shipping. It is now held in storage at Transadelaide's Glengowrie depot storage for spare parts. Bombardier subsequently delivered a replacement 103, and this was the final tram currently to be delivered. 4 more units 112 to 115 are on order and will eventually enter service in a few years.
|Track gauge:||1,435 mm (4 ft 8 1⁄2 in) standard gauge|
|Power source:||600 V DC overhead wire|
|Number in class:||11 (on completion of current order)|
|Unit numbers:||101 - 111 (103 destroyed during shipping.
Replacement 103 is now in service)
|Built by:||Bombardier Transportation,
|Passenger seating capacity:||70|
|Length:||30 m (98 ft 5 in)|
|Width:||2.4 m (7 ft 10 in)|
Dresden and Leipzig
The Flexity Classic XXL model was developed for the Dresden Transport Authority by the German factory Bombardier Transportation in Bautzen. It is 45 m (147 ft 8 in) long, runs on twelve axles and has a capacity of 260 passengers with 153 seats.
The Flexity Classic XXL (classification NGT D12DD) has, because of Dresden's altitude differences of 100 metres, a power-to-weight ratio of 112 kg/hp. The tram has been in service since 2003 and serves tram lines with a high peak load of passengers. The exterior is specially designed for the Dresden Transport Authority, which owns 32 trams.
The Flexity Classic XXL is also in service in Leipzig, Germany (classification NGT12-LEI) with the Leipzig Transport Authority (LVB). Although the exterior design is customized, the tram offers the same capacity. It has been in service since 2005. The LVB first ordered 12 trams of this type, then exercised an option for another 12 trams in September 2005 and a third (slightly changed) batch of 9 was delivered in late 2011/early 2012.
Around the world
|This article does not cite any references or sources. (July 2008)|