CAF Urbos

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The CAF Urbos is a family of trams, streetcars, and light rail vehicles built by CAF. The Basque manufacturer CAF previously manufactured locomotives, passenger cars, regional, and underground trains. In 1993, CAF started building trams for Metrovalencia, with the delivery of 16 trams until 1999. This was a variant of a Siemens design and some components were delivered by Siemens, including bogies and traction motors. This design was also sold to Lisbon Trams in 1995; CAF then decided to design and build the Urbos in-house.

There are three generations of the CAF Urbos, namely the Urbos 1, Urbos 2, and Urbos 3. The first generation was ordered by the Bilbao tram operator, who received eight trams between 2002 and 2004. The second generation was sold to other operators in Spain, and the third generation is sold in Spain, elsewhere in Europe, the United States, Australia and in the UK. Manufacturing locations include Beasain, Zaragoza and Linares, Spain; Elmira, New York, USA; Hortolandia, Brazil; Newport, UK; Huehuetoca, Mexico; and Bagnères-de-Bigorre, France.[1]

CAF Urbos 1[edit]

Urbos 1 tram in Bilbao

This series was only sold to Euskotren Tranbia to operate tram services in Bilbao.[2] The original Bilbao tram system was shut down in 1964 and the second generation opened in December 2002 with extensions in 2004.[3]

  • Bilbao tram: 8 bidirectional trams, numbered 401–408[3] and locally designated the Euskotren 400 series. 70% low-floor trams with 3 bogies on 1,000 mm (3 ft 3+38 in) metre gauge.[4]

CAF Urbos 2[edit]

Urbos 2 operating on Seville Metro line 1

In operation[edit]

Location System Entered service Gauge Car body construction Quantity Notes[citation needed]
Bilbao and Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain Bilbao tram and Vitoria-Gasteiz tram 2008 Metre Aluminium 11 3 units operate in Bilbao, while 8 operate in Vitoria-Gasteiz. Locally designated the Euskotren 500 series.
Seville, Spain Seville Metro - Line 1 2009 Standard Steel 21 5 units transferred from MetroCentro
3 units transferred from Sydney
Antalya, Turkey AntRay Aluminium 14 Standard gauge variation of the Bilbao/Vitoria-Gasteiz version

Withdrawn[edit]

Location System In service Quantity Notes[citation needed]
Vélez-Málaga, Spain Vélez-Málaga Tram 2006–2012 3 Transferred to Sydney
Seville, Spain MetroCentro 2007–2011 5 4 units transferred to Metro line 1
1 unit transferred to Sydney
Sydney, Australia L1 Dulwich Hill line Mar–Jul 2014 4 Transferred to Seville Metro line 1

CAF Urbos 3[edit]

CAF Urbos 3
Urbos 3 Besançon IMG 6874.jpg
Urbos 3 tram in Besançon
ManufacturerConstrucciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles
Constructed2011–present
PredecessorCAF Urbos 2
Capacity129-327 seated and standing total, depending on tram length
Specifications
Train length18–56 m (59 ft 1 in – 183 ft 9 in)
Width2,300–2,650 mm (7 ft 6+916 in – 8 ft 8+516 in)
Floor height356 mm (14 in)
Low-floor70–100%
Doors8-20, depending on tram length
Articulated sections2-9[5]
Maximum speed70–80 km/h (43–50 mph)
Weight34,860 kg (76,850 lb)
(3-car tram)[6]
Traction systemIGBTVVVF
Electric system(s)600–750 V DC from overhead catenary
Internal supercapacitor (Kaohsiung)
Current collector(s)Pantograph
Bogiesfixed
Minimum turning radius18 m (59 ft 1 in) (3-car tram)
Track gauge1,435 mm (4 ft 8+12 in) standard gauge or 1,000 mm (3 ft 3+38 in) metre gauge
Urbos 100, designated SL18, in Oslo

The CAF Urbos 3 is the successor of the Urbos 2; all new sales are of Urbos 3. The standard variants, the Urbos 100 and Urbos 70, have either a 100% or 70% low floor design, respectively, and a maximum speed of 70 kilometres per hour (43 mph). The tram type is offered in metre gauge and standard gauge and allows for a tram width of 2,300, 2,400 or 2,650 mm (7 ft 6+916 in, 7 ft 10+12 in or 8 ft 8+516 in). Trams can be assembled from 3, 5, 7 or (only for the Urbos 100) 9 modules, with the length ranging between 23 and 56 metres (75 and 184 ft).[7]

CAF has developed an option to build 'Greentech Freedrive' lithium-ion supercapacitors and batteries into the Urbos 3,[8] allowing brief operation without an external electrical supply.[9] This ACR system (Acumulador de Carga Rápida) allowed the tramway operator in Seville to remove the overhead wires in key locations during Holy Week 2011.[10] It has also been used in Luxembourg, Granada, Zaragoza and the West Midlands.[11]

Urbos 70 and Urbos 100[edit]

9-module Urbos 3 in Budapest
City, country, (system) Quantity Order value Notes
Europe
Antwerp, Belgium 58
Coast Tram, Belgium 48 Delivered 2020–2021[12] Name: Zeelijner
Ghent, Belgium 18
Liège, Belgium €360 million [13]
Besançon, France 19 €34.4 million [14]
Nantes, France 8 €22 million Option for 4 more trams for €10 million[15]
Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany 17 [16][17][18]

plus 8 more ordered [19]

Budapest, Hungary 47+26 €90 million Option for 51 more trams[20][21][22]
Debrecen, Hungary 18 [23]
Luxembourg, Luxembourg 21 €83.0 million In service since 2017[24]
Amsterdam, Netherlands 72 [25] Initial order was 63 in 2016.[26] In operation from January 2021.[27]
Utrecht, Netherlands
Utrecht sneltram
27 To be operational in 2018[28]
22 To be operational in 2020
Oslo, Norway 87 kr 4.2 billion[29] Locally designated as SL18. First two were delivered in 2020. In operation from January 2022, with trial period of 5 months.[30] Option for 60 more.[31]
Belgrade, Serbia 30 [32]
Granada, Spain 13 €43.9 million Option for 4 more trams
Málaga, Spain 14 [33]
Seville, Spain 5 MetroCentro line, 1 reserved
Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain 7 Locally designated the Euskotren 600 series.
Zaragoza, Spain 21 [34]
Lund, Sweden 7 To be operational 2020
West Midlands, England, United Kingdom 21 £40 million 2021 and 2022 service suspended due to these trams having cracks appearing in them; 20-49 more trams being constructed for 2 new lines.[35][36]
Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom 27
Americas
Calgary, Canada 28 [37]
Cuiabá, Brazil 40 [38]
Salvador, Brazil
Kansas City, Missouri, United States 6 [39][40][41]
Cincinnati, Ohio, United States 5 $25 million [42]
Seattle, Washington, United States 10 $50 million [40]
Asia
Kaohsiung, Taiwan 9 ACR system built in; no need for catenary[43]
Jerusalem, Israel 114 For Green Line. To be operational in 2024
Asia-Pacific
Canberra, ACT, Australia 14 A$65 million 5-module 100. Delivered 2018, operational April 2019[44]
Newcastle, NSW, Australia 6 5-module 100 capacitor wire free. Delivered 2018–19[45]
Sydney, NSW, Australia 16 A$20 million
(1st order)
5-module 100. Initial order for 6 trams; subsequently increased to 12.[46] Four more trams for the line were ordered from CAF in June 2021,[47] they will enter service in 2023. [48] Operates on the Inner West Light Rail. As of November 2021, these LRVs are temporarily out of service due to cracks discovered in all 12 of them.[49]
13 7-module 100 with battery wire free. Will operate on the Parramatta Light Rail, set to open 2023.[50]
Africa
Mauritius 18 €100 million In service since December 2019[51]

Design flaws[edit]

In December 2017, the Besançon Tramway in Besançon, France, discovered cracks in their Urbos 3s vehicles around the bogie box area of the bodies, which in December 2020 CAF paid for remedial work to be performed with each unit affected requiring one month downtime for the work to be completed.[52]

On 11 June 2021, the West Midlands Metro (operating between Birmingham and Wolverhampton, England) were forced to suspend their services due to similar cracks being discovered in the bogie box areas of their Urbos 3s vehicles, with ongoing investigations continuing to identify any other issues relating to the cracks and to find options for remedial works to be performed.[52]

Following on from these instances, in November 2021 the New South Wales transport minister Rob Stokes announced that the Sydney L1 Dulwich Hill Line would be decommissioned for up to 18 months, due to serious design flaws in all 12 of the CAF Urbos 3s tram sets that were running on the line. Stokes stated that the flaws (in the bogie boxes) were likely to be far broader in scope than those identified in Sydney due to the thousands of the same tram type operated around the world.[53]

Similar issues relating to cracks in the bogie box area are currently being discovered in the Urbos 3 vehicles supplied to the Belgrade Tramway Network.[52]

The discovery of further cracks in the West Midlands trams lead to the service being suspended again from 12 November 2021[54] to December 2021.[55]

Following vehicle inspections, services in the West Midlands were again suspended on 20 March 2022 until further notice due to cracks described by the operator as 'bodywork cracks'.[56] Midland Metro was working directly with the manufacturer to assess the safety and operational impact.

Urbos AXL[edit]

Urbos AXL in Stockholm

Vehicles in the Urbos AXL series have larger modules and railway-style pivoting axle bogies. With a maximum speed of 90 kilometres per hour (56 mph), it is designed for high-capacity, mass rapid transit systems.[7] This type of trams are currently in use only in two Northern European countries:

Urbos TT[edit]

The Urbos TT series is built with tram-train technology, connecting existing heavy rail infrastructure directly to urban tramway systems.[7]

Urbos LRV[edit]

Urbos LRV in Houston

A three-section articulated car supported by three bogies, the LRV variant of Urbos is designed for the North American market and is customizable.

LRTA 13000 class[edit]

The LRTA 13000 class is a high-floor light rail vehicle variant of the Urbos, with 120 units were ordered for the LRT Line 1 medium-capacity rail system in Metro Manila, Philippines.[60] It was designed by CAF along with Mitsubishi Corporation and were built in CAF's facility in Huehuetoca, Mexico.[61] The first two trainsets of 8 cars have arrived in January 2021. These are expected to enter service by 2022 and the delivery for all 120 units shall be completed by 2022. Once all the trainsets have entered service, they will eventually replace the aging LRTA 1000 class LRVs which are nearing 40 years old.[62]

References[edit]

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  10. ^ Sevilla, Diario de (18 March 2010). "Las catenarias del Metrocentro serán desmontadas este fin de semana de cara a la Semana Santa". Diario de Sevilla.
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  62. ^ Mercurio, Richmond. "Trains for LRT-1 Cavite extension arrived". Philstar.com. Retrieved 27 January 2021.

External links[edit]