Each 42m-long Tramlink vehicle will accommodate 248 passengers, 102 of them seated.

The order, which has been placed following a competitive tender, is being funded with the aid of a €15m grant from the European Regional Development Fund and €11.2m from the state of Thuringia’s public transport investment programme.

The vehicles will be built by Stadler Pankow and Stadler Rail Valencia, with deliveries due to start in 2020.

Ridership of Erfurt’s bus and tram network has risen by 7% over the last seven years to reach 52 million, with a further 10% increase forecast by 2025.

The average age of EVAG’s tram fleet is now more than 30 years, while the oldest low-floor vehicles have now been in service for more than 20 years.