The current fleet used on Stadtbahn lines U41, U42, U45, U46, U47 and U49 comprises 64 type B80-C and 10 B100 vehicles. The fleet of 43 six-axle and 21 eight-axle B80-C vehicles will be rebuilt, while the B100s will be withdrawn. With the introduction of new LRVs, the overall fleet size will increase to 88 vehicles.

HeiterBlick will be responsible for mechanical components, while Kiepe Electric will provide electrical systems, including project planning, delivery, assembly and commissioning.

DSW21 says both the modernised B80-Cs and the new LRVs will be identical inside and out. With the exception of the three-phase drive system chosen for the new vehicles, both new and refurbished LRVs will be equipped with identical electrical systems. To ensure parts can be freely interchanged between the two types, Kiepe Electric will build prototype vehicles for each sub-project.

All vehicles will be equipped with efficient thermal insulation and double glazing, an optimised HVAC system, air-conditioned driver’s cabs, and improved accessibility for passengers with reduced mobility. On the existing vehicles the floor will be lowered by 2cm and a pneumatic lowering system will enable the floor height to be reduced by a further 3cm at stations, enabling level boarding with costly adjustments to platform heights.

Delivery of the new vehicles will start in 2020, with assembly taking place at HeiterBlick’s facility in Leipzig. The fleet will enter service from 2021 onwards.