With less than 10 kilometres of new tracks, it becomes possible to create a completely new traffic system with a network length of 122 km. RegioTram vehicles operate both on the extensive DB rail network of the region and on the tramway network of the city of Kassel.
Background & Objectives
The RegioTram connects the former separated systems of train and tram and creates a new local public transport system in the north of the federal state Hesse. Up to now, the final destination of all railroad connections from the region was Kassel main station. People with the destination downtown Kassel had to walk or had to transfer to bus or tram. With the implementation of the RegioTram, the passengers can remain seated and go directly from the region to the city centre.
The RegioTram network is operated with 28 new vehicles, which are equipped with state-of-the-art technology and have an apparent design. The passenger transport association NVV commissioned the operator Regionalbahn Kassel (RBK) to order the vehicles. RBK is the owner of the vehicles and is in charge of maintenance.
At home in two systems
The manufacturer of the vehicles is Alstom LHB in Salzgitter. The trains are 36,7 m long, 2,65 m wide and have to meet certain requirements to comply with the rail- and tram standards. The requirements differ in terms of infrastructure, energy supply and safety equipment. The overhead wires of trams are energized with 600 V direct current and 15 kV alternating current is used in the rail network. Besides the AC/DC dual-mode technology, there are some line sections in the rail network, which are not electrified. The reliable all-rounder RegioTram can meet all these challenges and will provide service in the rail- and the tram system.
Two vehicle alternatives
There are two different models of vehicles to provide service in the whole RegioTram network. There are 18 Electro-hybrid vehicles and 10 Diesel-hybrid trains. Both models are identical in the design of the traction technology. The Diesel-hybrid train is used for the non-electrified lines and produce electric energy for their traction with an on-board diesel engine. The Electro-hybrid vehicles are supplied either by AC 15 kV or DC 600 V.
The new RegioTram vehicles have low energy consumption, due to light-weight construction and brake-energy recuperation.
Quiet and fast propulsion
The noise emissions of the propulsion of the three-part vehicle are constant and low. However, the RegioTrams can go with 100 km/h and they can serve more stops in the same period of time due to their acceleration and deceleration parameters. It is possible to connect up to three vehicles together within a short period of time to increase passenger capacity.
With a total of 180 Mio. Euro, the investments for such an ambitious project like the RegioTram still remain manageable. The costs are shared between different financing partners (mainly the Federal Government and the State of Hesse).
Up to 90-95 Mio. € are invested in the infrastructure, i.e. in the reshape, modernisation and construction of stations, signalling installation and route sections. The remaining other half of the investment is mainly covered by the 28 RegioTram vehicles.
You will find more information on http://www.regiotram.de/ (German only)