Mannheim – Heidelberg resumes through operation
Posted on 24th February 2023 at 15:54
After five months of infrastructure work between Viernheim and Käfertal, it is again possible to make the circular journey Mannheim – Heidelberg – Viernheim – Mannheim (RNV line 5, the formerly independent metre-gauge Oberrheinische Eisenbahn Gesellschaft – OEG) from 20 February. There is still some single-line working until 20 March.
Founded in 1911, the 55km (34-mile) OEG operated its interurban tramlines until 16 March 2010, when it was merged with Mannheim’s municipal operator MVV Verkehr AG, which was already part of the Rhein-Neckar-Verkehr Verkehrsverbund (joint tariff organisation) together with Ludwigshafen and Heidelberg.
A few of the high-floor Duewag cars of 1988-89 survive for peak service (mostly school runs) but line 5 is worked today by low-floor five- and seven-section Bombardier Variobahntrams dating from 2003-10.
Škoda has recently started deliveries of new trams for RNV with testing underway in Heidelberg. For operation on the metre-gauge lines in Mannheim, Heidelberg and Ludwigshafen, the new 2.4m-wide low-floor cars are based upon the Artic originally manufactured by Transtech (now part of the Škoda Group).
A EUR250m contract signed in 2018 will see Škoda deliver 80 trams in three lengths: 31 of the 36T (30.5m long, capacity 178, 72 seated), 37 of the 37T variant (40.65m, capacity 244, 104 seated) and 12 of the 58.7m 38T version (capacity 368, 156 seated) versions. It is expected that the first new trams will enter service in April/May.
The first three-section Škoda ForCity Smart (RNT 2020) as delivered to RNV. Three variants are on order, including a 58.7m version. RNV
> Our detailed annual round-up of the global tram and LRV rolling stock market is included in the April 2023 edition of TAUT. Subscribe here.
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