The first units are scheduled for delivery in late 2021. The contract also includes technical support and spare parts supply for 30 years.

CAF supplied the current fleet of 21 Urbos trams for Birmingham in 2012. In 2018, these units were subsequently fitted with a Greentech on-board energy storage solution using lithium-ion batteries enabling catenary-free operation.

The new Urbos units will be equipped with a similar solution which eliminates the need for catenary, protecting architecturally-sensitive areas around the city centre. CAF says the solution also provides substantial improvements in energy efficiency.

The new LRVs will be operated in conjunction with the existing Urbos fleet on the Midland Metro line linking Birmingham and Wolverhampton and the extension to Centenary Square in Birmingham city centre, which is scheduled to open in early 2020 and will become the first commercial light rail line in Britain designed for catenary-free operation. Testing on the extension began in August.

The LRVs will be articulated 100% low-floor vehicles with a maximum speed of 70km/h.

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