The Spanish firm CAF met with Tallinn City Transport in the Kopli depot yesterday to give a presentation on the plans of 16 new trams that are due to begin operating in the city at the end of 2015.
The 78-seat, low-floor vehicles are being purchased for 43.6 million euros, taken from the money Estonia has made with CO2 quota sales. Equipment as well as training for drivers and maintenance teams are also included in the deal, ETV reported.
The Estonian capital currently has 80 Soviet-era trams that service four routes, in addition to buses and trolley cars.
CAF representatives said the cold climate of Estonia proved the most challenging production factor.
"The local climate conditions are very different from those we have had experience with in other places. It might even be said that they are the most extreme compared with our other projects, for instance, in Stockholm and Helsinki," said the Tallinn project's technical director, Ramon Casale.
"To adapt to the situation we improved the heat insulation, utilized better climate devices [...] and the trams' exterior is designed so that snow will not collect on the roof.“
The new trams will service the Tondi-Ülemiste and Tondi-Kadriorg routes.
"The flow of passengers is greatest on the lines going through the city center. That was the reason we decided to place the larger-capacity trams on those routes first," said Tallinn City Transport director Enno Tamm.
Since the new trams weigh more than the old ones, the transport department has started work to replace the old tracks. At some point in the renewal project, the two routes will have to be closed and replaced with buses.