Düwag TW 6000

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TW 6000
TW 6000 vehicle
Manufacturer DÜWAG (6001-6100)
LHB (6101-6260)
Constructed 1974–1993
Number built 260
Capacity 46 seats
104 standing
Specifications
Train length 28.28 m (92 ft 9 in)
Width 2.4 m (7 ft 10 in)
Maximum speed 80 km/h (50 mph)
Power output 2 × 218 kW (292 hp)
UIC classification B'2'2'B'
Coupling system Scharfenberg
Track gauge Standard
1,435 mm (4 ft 8.5 in)

The TW 6000 is a type of articulated light rail vehicle used on the Hanover Stadtbahn system, originally manufactured by Düwag, AEG, Kiepe and Siemens, the later batches being built by LHB (now part of Alstom).

The vehicle can serve both high platforms and street-level stops; it has cabs at both ends, thus eliminating the need for turning loops. It was unique in Germany at the time for featuring thyristor chopper control and a contemporary design by Prof. Herbert Lindinger.

A total number of 260 were built from 1974 to 1993, of which the first series of 100 was built by Düwag in Düsseldorf from 1974 to 1978, whilst the second to eighth series (160 in total) were built by LHB in Salzgitter from 1979 to 1993. From 2002 on, 82 units were sold to Budapest, Hungary and Den Haag, The Netherlands.

Technical parameters[edit]

A single unit has a length of 28.28 meters and a width of 2.4 meters, thus significantly increasing capacity compared to its predecessors. Up to 150 passengers can fit into a single car; in normal operations, two cars operate coupled together. The maximum speed is rated at 80 km/h, however it is not possible to sustain this speed on the Hanover network, so the de facto maximum speed is 70 km/h. The two DC motors are rated at 218 kW at 600 V each and can draw a maximum current of 900 A.

Cars 6206-6260 are microprocessor controlled, using an Intel 8085 and GTO thyristors.

Series delivered[edit]

The following TW 6000 series were delivered:

Numbers Delivered from-to Line Manufacturers
6001-6100 27.12.1974-26.06.1978 A DÜWAG/Kiepe/AEG/Siemens
6101-6190 19.12.1979-01.06.1983 B LHB/Kiepe/AEG/Siemens
6191-6205 09.01.1985-13.08.1985 C-Ost LHB/Kiepe/AEG/Siemens
6206-6250 22.09.1988-10.01.1992 C-West LHB/Kiepe/AEG/Siemens
6251-6260 08.09.1992-22.01.1993 C-Nord LHB/Kiepe/AEG/Siemens

The lead of the consortium changed over to LHB after the first series due to political lobbying, as subsidies provided by the state of Lower Saxony were spent on the project, LHB (which is based in Salzgitter) was favoured over the out-of-state Düwag (with their operations in Düsseldorf, North Rhine-Westphalia).

Cab controls[edit]

All TW6000s are driven (from the cab, of course) using an integral traction/braking with a deadman's trigger that drivers must depress to mobilize the vehicle, if released while moving, first it (the warning system) beeps, then the track brakes are applied.

Changes in Series 2[edit]

  • New floors, lacking the Series 1 furrows
  • Smaller stop buttons and warning lights, partly retrofit to Series 1 from 3/81 to 5/85, completely retrofit to Series 1 from 10/88 to 11/92
  • Destination indicator inside the Stadtbahn vehicle
  • Wiper moved to the right
  • Automatic adjustment of couplers after decoupling
  • Additional brake resistor on the roof
  • Preparations to add additional seats at the middle door (was never carried out)

Changes in Series 3[edit]

  • IBIS equipment delivered ex-factory, retrofit to Series 1 and 2 vehicles until 1987
  • Mandatory selection of "steps high" and "steps low" setting before doors can be opened, retrofit to all prior vehicles

Changes in Series 4[edit]

  • Skylight windows on one side only
  • GTO chopper control with 8085 microprocessor
  • Fire protection (tested on 6147 from January 1987):
    • new sheet metal roof in the passenger compartment
    • plastic light covers replaced by steel lamellas
    • roof and side handles in joint area replaced with cast plastic handle
  • Additional tail lights

Changes in Series 5[edit]

  • Adjusted size of door windows
  • Wider door seals

Changes in Series 6[edit]

  • Double doors without handrail in the midsection, new lock mechanism (tested on 6083, partly retrofit to older vehicles)

TW 6000 abroad[edit]

Houten[edit]

6016 in Houten, running on the last day.

Two TW 6000 units were used to operate on a small NS line in Houten, The Netherlands, connecting Houten station with the new station Houten Castellum. The service, operated by HTM of The Hague on behalf NS, ran until December 13, 2008. One unit (6016) has been scrapped after this service ended, the other (6021) sold to BKV in Budapest, Hungary, where it is in service now with new number 1585.

The Hague[edit]

Eight TW 6000 units were sold to HTM, the public transport operator of The Hague, where they were in service on line 11 to Scheveningen and were stored at Depot Lijsterbesstraat after ending service with HTM, awaiting there destiny. Meanwhile they have been sold by HTM to BKV in Budapest, the last TW 6000 leaving The Hague on October 7, 2010.

Budapest[edit]

TW6000 in Budapest

After Hanover had upgraded its fleet with TW 2000s on the occasion of the Expo 2000 World's Fair, Üstra offered part of its used TW 6000 rolling stock for sale. Budapest operator BKV bought the majority of it. Preceded by lengthy political debates, the city council of Budapest provided 7 billion Hungarian Forints for the purchase of 68 units altogether. The BKV soon decided to buy 8 additional trams. The first cars (6061 and 6070) arrived to BKV 2001 to begin their 10000 km long test run. The first run in passenger operation on the new tramline number 3 was in October 2001. The cars got new numbers in Budapest, beginning with 1500.

Modifications[edit]

The cars got an overhaul in Hanover and were repainted into the orange livery used on the BKV trams (earning the nickname "banana" for having arrived green and consumed yellow), however the inner side of the doors have been left green. They were retrofitted with windows that can slide open in large part to better adjust to hotter continental summers. A doorbell was added that rings before departure. The automatic closing of the doors after 4 seconds was deactivated but later it got reintroduced. Today the cars are getting a small revamp at BKV's rail vehicle maintenance company (BKV VJSz) as part of the regular maintenance cycle. This involves internal and external Vultron LED displays.

Necessity and public reception[edit]

In 2000 Budapest had an aging tram fleet including more than 300 UV and UV trailer cars, 40–60 years old, still in operation. The last mass purchase had been the Tatra T5C5 cars in 1980-84. TW6000's arrived in good condition and had a highly favorable price compared to new trams. Nevertheless it was often disputed if Budapest really had to rely on used trams, and the contradictory feelings were so strong that the leading party of the Budapest council, including mayor Gábor Demszky, voted against the purchase.[1]

Today the main concern about these cars is their high floor level and moving stairs with mechanical sensors that do not fulfill accessibility requirements and make it difficult for the elderly, or people with prams, to get on and off. Despite that, its heated passenger compartment, good noise insulation, vibration damping and seamless acceleration mean a higher standard of comfort than most of other tram types in Budapest can provide.

Further purchases[edit]

The good experiences of the past ten years of TW6000 operation in Budapest convinced BKV to purchase further cars of the same type.[2] In 2011 another 16 TW6000 cars arrived to Budapest partly from Hanover and partly from The Hague. Further four cars arrived to BKV VJSz in order to provide spare parts. There is an additional shipment due from late 2011, also including cars from the 6100 series.[3]

Today a significant part of TW 6000 tramcars are owned by BKV: 104 vehicles excluding the four at BKV VJSz.

Current operation[edit]

As of January 2012, TW6000's operate on lines 3, 42, 50, 51, 51A, 52, 62, 62A, 69.

External links[edit]

References[edit]