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Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Bombardier’s new Flexity 2 tram unveiled in Blackpool

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Bombardier’s Flexity 2 tram was unveiled yesterday in Blackpool.

Blackpool and Lancashire County Council purchased the world’s most advanced tram technology from Bombardier to ‘revitalise Britain’s most traditional tram system’ and will operate 16 new, ultra-modern Flexity 2 vehicles on the Blackpool and Fleetwood tramway.

The tram combines ‘the best of the best’ in global tram technology and Bombardier’s experience in delivering more than 3,500 trams and light rail vehicles to around 100 cities in more than 20 countries.

Flexity 2 is based on the successful Flexity family of light rail vehicles and combines ‘proven technology with continuous improvement and innovation’.

Blackpool has the UK’s longest running tram operation, which last year celebrated its 125th year of operation.

As a popular tourist destination, 4 million passengers use the tram annually, with the majority travelling during the busy summer period.

While the heritage trams that operate the service remain a popular tourist attraction for visitors, with new accessibility regulations coming into effect in 2019, Blackpool and Lancashire County Council began an extensive programme to identify a supplier for a new fleet of vehicles, which would enable ease of access and comfort for all passengers.

Cllr Simon Blackburn, Leader of Blackpool Council commented:

“Providing a modern tram service that operates as an effective transport system while still offering visitors and residents the opportunity to enjoy uninterrupted views of our coastline is something unique to Blackpool.

“The new Flexity 2 model will help us improve access for people with prams or with wheel chairs for example and will run alongside our heritage trams.

“Today marks a significant milestone in modernising our tram way and I am delighted that Bombardier chose the new tram depot on our Promenade as a fitting backdrop for an international launch of their new model.”

Germar Wacker, President of the Business Unit Light Rail of Bombardier Transportation commented:

“We are delighted that Blackpool and Lancashire chose the Flexity 2, to bring the latest technology to such a revered tram operation in the UK.

“The tram incorporates outstanding, proven features of Bombardier trams into one vehicle. Flexity 2 will ensure that all passengers in Blackpool and the Fylde coast can enjoy the best standards in comfort and safety.”

As well as having 100% low floor technology for optimal ride comfort, the Flexity 2 tram includes some new advanced features, such as touch-screens in the driver’s cab, reflecting the latest developments in intelligent digital technology.

Each vehicle will be 32.2 m long and 2.65 m wide, with five sections and three bogies. The trams can carry approximately 74 seated passengers, with additional wheelchair and pushchair space plus standing room.

 

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