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Combino update

filed on: 30.06.2004 (30th Jun 2004)

Yesteday in Bern, Siemens presented their latest Combino repair concept: Besides welded bodyshells (instead of the screw-based Alugrip system), the new/rebuilt Combinos will have a different articulation design allowing greater freedom of movement between the individual sections. The most radical change will be the use of radially adjusting axles which should reduce stresses on the body (and be more track-friendly too). As this redesign is quite fundamental, a new acceptance phase will be required before such a tramcar can run in public service.

Meannwhile, small numbers of Combinos with minor or no damage are temporarily returning to service in various Combino towns. Some have already returned in Basel and Potsdam. Three will have returned in Freiburg by the end of July. Such cars are subject to continuous monitoring to assure the safety of passengers.

The Combino problems are having political repercussions in Basel where the decision leading to the acquistion of these trams is being investigated. The running costs of the units are considerably higher than the 0.984Fr/km which were originally promised. Additionally, 70% low floor designs with a lower risk factor than Combino were not considered in the final rounds of the tendering process. Dieter Doege, an expert from Potsdam is testifying and explaining that the Combino problems were predicatble. Doege foresaw problems with the construction and running gear and heftily opposed the acquistion of Combinos in his own city - unsuccesfully.

source: Basler Zeitung

(see also news items of 13.03, 08.04 and 13.05 on this page)

This news item is from the 2004 newslog.

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