June 14, 2013

New-generation Helsinki LRV unveiled

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FINNISH minister of transport Mrs Merja Kyllönen unveiled the first of a new fleet of 40 low-floor LRVs for Helsinki City Transport (HKL) at Transtech's Otanmäki facility on June 13.

The three-section 27.6m-long vehicle is the first of two pre-series LRVs, and will undergo a month-long evaluation on the city's tram network before entering passenger service in July or August. Transtech will deliver the second pre-series vehicle by the end of the summer, and the 38 production vehicles will enter service between 2015 and 2018.

Each LRV accommodates up to 199 passengers, 88 of them seated, and features low-energy LED lighting.

Traction systems were supplied by Voith, and a separate motor-gear unit with a continuous output of 65kW drives each of the eight axles, which receive power via two EmCon double traction inverters. Voith also provided wheels, axles, bearings, drive-related vehicle control, and the diagnostics system.

The vehicles are equipped with an intelligent braking energy management system, which allows braking energy to be stored in specially-designed onboard heat exchangers for use in the heating system if it cannot be fed back to the grid via the overhead catenary.

The LRVs are also able to automatically prevent excessive horizontal acceleration in curves by measuring the offset angle between the bogie and the vehicle to determine the curve radius. If the vehicle is travelling too fast, a control device automatically limits the speed, minimising centrifugal forces.

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