New year will bring new trams to Liepāja, Latvia

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Croatia is currently testing the first low-floor tram built for Liepāja. It is planned that the first two new trams could appear on the streets of Liepāja at the end of the year, Latvian Radio reported October 30.

The new trams will be a particular challenge for technical workers, as trams will be equipped with modern technologies. Two drivers and two technical workers from Liepāja have gone to Croatia to learn how to drive the new tram.

Meanwhile, in Liepaja, the old tram depot built 120 years ago continues to be adapted to the new vehicles.

“The new trams are taller and heavier, and also wider. It is therefore necessary to rebuild the floor so that those new trams can enter. Special hoists will also be installed so that the new tram can be lifted to replace the trolley and perform appropriate repairs. We do this to allow the new tram to be serviced in this old depo,” said Aigars Puks, board member of Liepājas tram.

The pandemic does impact the real introduction and departure of trams along the streets of Liepāja. “There are minor problems with supply, mainly with the delivery of personnel from Croatia. Because the tram is scheduled to be delivered to Liepāja in the middle of November, there is no real clarity about the introduction, the trials in Liepāja,” Puks said.

Liepāja's old trams will not go to junkyards, they are scheduled to be auctioned, said Puks. 

Overall, through co-financing, the costs of the project for the introduction of modern trams amount to €20 million.

The construction of trams for Liepāja takes place at the Croatian Cončar – Electric Vehicles Inc. plant. Purchase of a total of 12 trams is planned, with a total of 14 new trams planned in Liepaja.

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