A Siemens U2 in service in Mendoza.
A diagram of the U2 vehicles
|Built at||Düsseldorf, West Germany (Duewag) |
Florin, California (Siemens California)
|Entered service||1981 (San Diego MTS)|
|Successor||Siemens S70 and S200|
|Capacity||264 people (including standees)|
Edmonton Transit System
San Diego MTS
|Car body construction||Fibreglass|
|Car length||24 m (78 ft 8 7⁄8 in)|
|Width||2,562 mm (8 ft 4 7⁄8 in)|
|Height||3,780 mm (12 ft 4 7⁄8 in)|
|Maximum speed||80 km/h (50 mph)|
|Weight||35,000 kg (77,000 lb)|
|Power output||300 kW (400 hp)|
|Electric system(s)||600 V DC OHLE|
|Current collection method||Pantograph|
|Braking system(s)||Dynamic Air|
|Multiple working||up to 5 cars|
|Track gauge||1,435 mm (4 ft 8 1⁄2 in) standard gauge|
|Seating||upholstered neoprene foam|
The Siemens-Düwag U2 is a type of light-rail tram vehicle (LRV). The cars were built by consortium of Siemens, Wegmann & Co. and Düwag. The U2 design was built on the Siemens U1 prototype tram built in 1965 (now stored at the Frankfurt Transport Museum).
The name is derived from the class identifier given to the cars in the Frankfurt system.
Originally designed for and used by the Frankfurt U-Bahn, the model of car was adopted for light-rail use by transit systems in Edmonton, Calgary, and San Diego, during a period in which few purpose-built trams were being manufactured. All U2 cars were built between 1968 and 1990.
The U2 vehicle was originally developed for the light rail system in Frankfurt. Its design was later used for systems in Edmonton and Calgary. The model was chosen for operations in San Diego in 1979, however, the planned platform level was lower than their counterpart system, so a street-level version was developed, and 71 vehicles were eventually delivered in stages.
MTS broke ground on the Trolley Renewal project in early 2010, beginning with the sale of 35 cars to Argentina, followed by the bulk of its U2 fleet retiring in 2013, when the Orange Line received low-floor cars. The remainder were used on its initial operating segment until January 2015. In 2016, 2 of the cars were shipped to Texas for use in a dog training facility, The majority of the U2's had left the property by 2018, having been either scrapped or donated to museums, with car 1001 being retained.
After 48 years of service, the last Frankfurt examples were retired in April 2016. The Frankfurt cars have been replaced by the Flexity Swift. There are 3 Cars left for museum purposes
Calgary Transit has begun a similar retirement system as they have begun to introduce the Siemens S200 as both a replacement and expansion of the fleet. The city has begun to explore additional disposition options.
Edmonton Transit Service has now announced that their 37 U2s will be phased out between 2023 and 2025. They have also stated that they are looking into preserving at least one vehicle for their historical fleet.
The U2's dimensions are 24.284 m (79 ft 8 1⁄8 in) by 2.650 m (8 ft 8 3⁄8 in) by 3.66 m (12 ft 1⁄8 in). In the US and Canada, usually up to five U2 cars are coupled to run as a train. Calgary Transit regularly couples up six U2 cars to shuttle them from Anderson Garage to Haysboro storage. These unique shuttle trains can be commonly seen after the evening rush hour. Each articulated car has a total passenger capacity of 264 passengers. It may be equipped with two DC motors for a total power output of 300 kW (400 hp) and a maximum speed of 80 km/h (50 mph), or with four AC motors for an output of 544 kW (730 hp) and speed of 88 km/h (55 mph).
Frankfurt U2 cars use Scheren (diamond) or single-arm (z-shaped) pantographs, while Calgary, Edmonton and San Diego vehicles use a single-arm (z-shaped) pantograph.
In order to operate safely, the cars require 500 kW (670 hp) to accelerate from a station, and 150 kW (200 hp) to maintain speed.
Siemens–Düwag Type U3 is an upgraded version of the U2 with a slightly longer length and cosmetic changes. Introduced in 1977, they entered service in 1980 and will be exported to Monterrey in Mexico, after being retired from service by Germany's Frankfurt U-Bahn. Three examples will be preserved for museum service
Siemens–Düwag Type U2A on Sacramento Regional Transit's light rail system is an upgraded version of the U2 that shares similar characteristics of the newer SD-100s and SD-160s, yet it still uses the mechanical equipment of the U2.
Another variant, the U2h, was designed for lower boarding platforms in the Frankfurt system. A planned renovation project, codenamed U2e, was to take place in 2015, but after a few were completed, it was decided to retire their units in favour of the Flexity Swift.
U2 cars acquired, by city
- Calgary (C-Train) — 85 cars (83 U2-DC, and 2 U2-AC acquired from Edmonton)
- Edmonton (Edmonton Light Rail Transit) — 37 cars, 2 U2-AC cars operated as demonstrators between 1988 and 1990, plus 3 parts cars acquired from Calgary.
- Frankfurt (Public transport in Frankfurt am Main) — 104 cars; U2 cars completely retired from service as of 2016.
- San Diego (San Diego Trolley) — 71 cars; U2 cars completely retired from service on the San Diego Trolley on January 26, 2015
- Mendoza (Metrotranvía Mendoza) — 18 cars (purchased used from San Diego)
U2a cars acquired, by city
San Diego MTS retired their last U2 vehicles in January 2015, coinciding with low floor S70 cars being deployed on its Blue Line, six examples are preserved by various museums and nonprofits.
- San Diego Electric Railway Association (SDERA) - Car 1002, now on display in National City
- Southern California Railway Museum - Cars 1003 and 1008, operate regularly on the Museum system, independently and as a two-car train.
- Western Railway Museum - Cars 1017 and 1018, operate on museum excursions
- Rockhill Trolley Museum - Car 1019 operates regularly on the Museum system.
MTS has retained Car 1001 as part of its heritage fleet of light rail vehicles. The car was unveiled as part of a celebration at 12th & Imperial on July 11th, 2019, and re-entered service two days later. The car operates on the Silver Line, alongside San Diego PCC cars 529 and 530.
The City of Edmonton has stated that at least one U2 will be preserved and operational for their historical fleet. The City of Calgary is currently looking into putting one on static display.
Cars 303-305 of the Frankfurt system have also been preserved following retirement in 2016.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Siemens-Duewag U2.|
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- "Argentina to buy 24 more SD MTS trolleys". METRO magazine. Retrieved 1 May 2019.
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