Zürich Public Transport (VBZ) says that while the Flexity is based on a standard product, it has been modified to deal with Zürich’s unique operating conditions including gradient, stops, traction supply and depot facilities, and must be tested locally before entering service at the start of summer next year. The LRVs must also be authorised by the Swiss rail safety agency (BAV).

Zürich and Bombardier concluded a SFr 300m ($US 302.9m) contract for the delivery of 70 Flexity LRVs, with an option for 70 more, in February 2017. The contract was signed after legal proceedings by Stadler and Siemens were unsuccessful. Between nine and 10 LRVs are expected to be in service by the end of 2020.

Flexity LRVs are more energy efficient than VBZ’s existing fleet, and each LRV is 7m longer than the current Cobra LRVs, providing space for one more seat and 57 additional standing passengers at 4 passengers/m2.

Flexity is equipped with new technology such as an obstacle detection and assistance system and LED door status indicators. There are also 24 USB charging points distributed throughout the vehicle.

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