Steel provides foundation for smart transport trends
In many cities throughout the world, light rail transit systems are emerging as an efficient, viable solution to public transportation challenges. Trams are helping to drive this development as they contribute to the revitalization of inner cities, the strengthening of city center retailers, and urban renewal.
When Helsinki City Transport tasked Finnish rail vehicle manufacturer Transtech to produce new trams for the city’s capital, the company turned to SSAB. Transtech chose high-strength, weather-resistant steel as the body material for the new tram model.
“The development of Transtech’s low-floor tram was based on safety and best overall value for money. This means high reliability and availability as well as low operating and maintenance costs, which the use of weather-resistant steel promotes,” says Pasi Rytkönen, material and logistics manager at Transtech.
Safe, reliable structures in an unpredictable climate
The traditional free-turning bogie solution under Transtech’s new tram is combined with a modern low floor. The tram is ideal for the difficult track and changeable weather conditions that often prevail in Helsinki, from below freezing to scorching summer temperatures.
Since the body shell is made of special high-strength steel, the tram is safe, strong and durable. All materials and structures used are highly resistant to corrosion and fatigue loads. The color-coated steel of the body effectively protects against rust and will last the entire service life of the tram; the materials also allow for easy repairs when necessary after any collision damage. The bodies are welded in compliance with the strictest requirements for rail vehicles from EN 15085.
A heavy-use, low-weight design that makes a statement
The tram was also designed and engineered to cope with heavy use, and in fact seats the highest number of passengers in its class. And thanks to the use of high-strength steel, the tram’s weight is lower because the steel used can be thinner and still retain the properties required. A lighter tram structure means less energy is needed to operate it, a boost for sustainability, too.
Transtech is proud of its modern, colorful and elegantly designed new trams. As they glide graciously through the city streets, they make quite a bold statement —about fresh industrial design as well as energy savings, improved efficiency, reduced maintenance costs and higher performance.
*Formerly Optim 550 W