Czech trams repeat success in the USA

Prague, 20 February 2012 - As many as 26 new trams may be delivered from the Czech Republic to the USA over the course of the next three years. Czech manufacturer, Inekon Group, entered into a contract with the City of Seattle, which undertook to purchase six vehicles and reserved an option on the purchase of twenty more. The value of the currently signed contract amounts to USD 26.6 mil. (i.e. nearly CZK 600 mil.). In the second half of this year, Inekon will commence production of the trams in the manufacturing plant of Ostrava Transport (Dopravní podnik Ostrava a.s.). The first completed tram is scheduled to arrive in Seattle at the beginning of 2014.

Seattle has placed an order for six vehicles

 

It involves the supply of 20 additional trams; Texas shows interest as well

 

Prague, 20 February 2012 - As many as 26 new trams may be delivered from the Czech Republic to the USA over the course of the next three years. Czech manufacturer, Inekon Group, entered into a contract with the City of Seattle, which undertook to purchase six vehicles and reserved an option on the purchase of twenty more. The value of the currently signed contract amounts to USD 26.6 mil. (i.e. nearly CZK 600 mil.). In the second half of this year, Inekon will commence production of the trams in the manufacturing plant of Ostrava Transport (Dopravní podnik Ostrava a.s.).  The first completed tram is scheduled to arrive in Seattle at the beginning of 2014.

“Our first trams were delivered to Seattle in 2007. Since then, the trams have operated at a reliability rate reaching almost 100%. It was this reference, in particular, that seemed to be the main reason for our success in the tender proceedings held by the city last year,” said Ing. Jan Hušek, PhD, Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors at Inekon Group, a.s. “Seattle has the right to transfer the option on 20 more trams to a different customer. This customer would therefore not be required to organize a new tender. This opens up a whole world of opportunities in America. The City of Dallas in Texas has expressed its interest in the supply of three trams under this option,” said J. Hušek.

Inekon Group repeated its success in Seattle with the same type of tram (Inekon 12-Trio). The USA model is low-floor, two-way vehicle including a lounge for passengers that is fully air-conditioned. The trams will be redesigned to cover a distance of approx. 0.75 km uphill without traction power supply. This will mark the first solution of its kind in the entire North America.

“The trams are generally equipped with a battery for safety reasons in case of power supply failures on the road. The battery, however, is capable of covering a maximum distance of 100 to 200 meters. Our designers now face the issue of a distance several times longer, moreover uphill and including power supply for the air-conditioning system,” explained J. Hušek.

The first tram will be completed in Ostrava. The citizens of this Moravian-Silesian city will have the opportunity to see the tram during its testing in the neighborhood of the Martinov´s manufacturing plant at the turn of 2013 and 2014.

For the next five vehicles, the final assembly will be provided for Inekon Group in Seattle directly by partner company Pacifica Marine. Bill Patz, CEO of Pacifica Marine, commented on the aforementioned as follows: “We are happy about the contract signed with Inekon. We believe that this is merely the beginning which will allow us to supply new trams to Seattle followed by otherr American cities.”

The comments provided by representatives of the City of Seattle, who wish to use the trams on a new line titled First Hill Streetcar, are positive in the same manner. The line should connect the administrative centers of municipal district First Hill with main traffic routes in the remaining parts of the city.

“This investment into traffic infrastructure improvements will bring new labor opportunities and return money to our local economy. The extension to the rail traffic network will support the development of neighboring municipal districts and will offer citizens new transportation options. I congratulate Inekon and Pacifica on a job well done,” said Mike McGinn, the Mayor of the City of Seattle. 

Supplementary facts:

  • INEKON trams are original Czech products. Vehicles are manufactured in cooperation with Ostrava Transport (Dopravní podnik Ostrava a.s.) in the central manufacturing plant in Martinov.
  • The first three low-floor INEKON 12-Trio vehicles were launched with great anticipation on 12 December 2007. The biggest city of the state of Washington and the American northwest is not the only place where you can see these trams. At the turn of 2006 and 2007, three vehicles were delivered to Portland as well. INEKON GROUP delivered the first Czech trams to this big city in the state of Oregon as well as to Tacoma in the state of Washington as early as the end of the 1990s. Even the capital city of the USA, Washington D.C., purchased three new INEKON 12-Trio vehicles.
  • The Pacifica Marine company specializes in the manufacturing and refurbishment of public transportation means. The company was established by the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers with a mission to create new labor opportunities and creating new jobs in the state of Washington.