Düwag TW 6000
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The TW 6000 is a type of articulated light rail vehicle used on the Hanover Stadtbahn system, originally manufactured by Düwag, AEG, Kiepe and Siemens, the later batches being built by LHB (now part of Alstom).
TW 6000 on Hanover Stadtbahn
|Train length||28.28 m (92 ft 9 in)|
|Width||2.4 m (7 ft 10 in)|
|Maximum speed||80 km/h (50 mph)|
|Power output||2 × 218 kW (292 hp)|
1,435 mm (4 ft 8.5 in)
The vehicle can serve both high platforms and street-level stops; it has cabs at both ends, thus eliminating the need for turning loops. It was unique in Germany at the time for featuring thyristor chopper control and a contemporary design by Prof. Herbert Lindinger.
A total number of 260 were built from 1974 to 1993, of which the first series of 100 was built by Düwag in Düsseldorf from 1974 to 1978, whilst the second to eighth series (160 in total) were built by LHB in Salzgitter from 1979 to 1993. From 2002 on, 82 units were sold to Budapest, Hungary and Den Haag, The Netherlands.
A single unit has a length of 28.28 meters and a width of 2.4 meters, thus significantly increasing capacity compared to its predecessors. Up to 150 passengers can fit into a single car; in normal operations, two cars operate coupled together. The maximum speed is rated at 80 km/h, however it is not possible to sustain this speed on the Hanover network, so the de facto maximum speed is 70 km/h. The two DC motors are rated at 218 kW at 600 V each and can draw a maximum current of 900 A.
Cars 6206-6260 are microprocessor controlled, using an Intel 8085 and GTO thyristors.
The following TW 6000 series were delivered:
The lead of the consortium changed over to LHB after the first series due to political lobbying, as subsidies provided by the state of Lower Saxony were spent on the project, LHB (which is based in Salzgitter) was favoured over the out-of-state Düwag (with their operations in Düsseldorf, North Rhine-Westphalia).
All TW6000s are driven (from the cab, of course) using an integral traction/braking with a deadman's trigger that drivers must depress to mobilize the vehicle, if released while moving, first it (the warning system) beeps, then the track brakes are applied.
Changes in Series 2Edit
- New floors, lacking the Series 1 furrows
- Smaller stop buttons and warning lights, partly retrofit to Series 1 from 3/81 to 5/85, completely retrofit to Series 1 from 10/88 to 11/92
- Destination indicator inside the Stadtbahn vehicle
- Wiper moved to the right
- Automatic adjustment of couplers after decoupling
- Additional brake resistor on the roof
- Preparations to add additional seats at the middle door (was never carried out)
Changes in Series 3Edit
- IBIS equipment delivered ex-factory, retrofit to Series 1 and 2 vehicles until 1987
- Mandatory selection of "steps high" and "steps low" setting before doors can be opened, retrofit to all prior vehicles
Changes in Series 4Edit
- Skylight windows on one side only
- GTO chopper control with 8085 microprocessor
- Fire protection (tested on 6147 from January 1987):
- new sheet metal roof in the passenger compartment
- plastic light covers replaced by steel lamellas
- roof and side handles in joint area replaced with cast plastic handle
- Additional tail lights
Changes in Series 5Edit
- Adjusted size of door windows
- Wider door seals
Changes in Series 6Edit
- Double doors without handrail in the midsection, new lock mechanism (tested on 6083, partly retrofit to older vehicles)
TW 6000 in BudapestEdit
After Hanover had upgraded its fleet with TW 2000s on the occasion of the Expo 2000 World's Fair, Üstra offered part of its used TW 6000 rolling stock for sale. Hungarian company BKV, operator of the tram network in the capital of Budapest, bought the majority of it.
In 2000 Budapest had an aging tram fleet including more than 300 UV and UV trailer cars, 40–60 years old, still in operation. The last mass purchase had been the Tatra T5C5 cars in 1980-84. The TW6000 would arrive in good condition and had a highly favorable price compared to new trams. Nevertheless, it was often disputed if Budapest really had to rely on used trams, and the contradictory feelings were so strong that the leading party of the Budapest council, including mayor Gábor Demszky, voted against the purchase. Preceded by lengthy political debates, the city council of Budapest provided 7 billion forints for the purchase of 68 units altogether. The first cars (6061 and 6070) arrived at BKV in 2001 to begin their 10,000 km long test run. The first run in passenger operation on the new tramline number 3 was in October 2001. The cars got new numbers in Budapest, beginning with 1500. The BKV soon decided to buy 8 additional trams.
The cars got an overhaul in Hanover and were repainted into the orange yellow livery used on the BKV trams (earning the nickname "banana" for having arrived green and consumed yellow); the inner side of the doors were originally left green, but later repainted to white. They were retrofitted with windows that can slide open to better adjust to hotter continental summers. A doorbell was added that rings before departure. The automatic closing of the doors after 4 seconds was deactivated for a time but was later reintroduced. As part of the regular maintenance cycle, a small revamp at BKV's rail vehicle maintenance company (BKV VJSz) saw the cars retrofitted with internal and external Vultron LED displays.
The positive experience of TW6000 operation in Budapest convinced BKV to purchase further cars of the same type. In 2011, another 16 TW6000 cars arrived to Budapest partly from Hanover and partly from The Hague (see below). A further four cars arrived to BKV VJSz in order to provide spare parts. An additional shipment was due from late 2011, also including cars from the 6100 series. The last shipment was in 2015-2016.
Today, most of the TW 6000 tramcars that have been built are owned by BKV: 113 vehicles excluding the four at BKV VJSz. However, the arrival of low-floor CAF Urbos 3 trams to the Budapest network allowed for the withdrawal of many Ganz CSMG trams from regular service. Low-floor service was introduced on line 3, and TW6000's showed up on other lines. From 2016 January onwards, TW6000's operate on lines 3 (partially), 24 (partially), 28 (partially), 28A (partially), 37, 37A, 42, 50, 51, 51A, 52, 62, 62A, 69.
Nowadays, the main concern about these cars is their high floor level and moving stairs with mechanical sensors that do not fulfill accessibility requirements and make it difficult for the elderly, or people with prams, to get on and off. Despite this, its heated passenger compartment, good noise insulation, vibration damping and seamless acceleration mean a higher standard of comfort than some other tram types in Budapest can provide.
TW 6000 in the NetherlandsEdit
In 2002, eight TW 6000 units were sold to HTM, the public transport operator of The Hague in the Netherlands, where they were in service on tram line 11 to Scheveningen. They were withdrawn in 2005 and stored at Depot Lijsterbesstraat, awaiting their destiny. They were eventually sold to BKV of Budapest, the last TW 6000 leaving The Hague on October 7, 2010.
Earlier, in 2000, HTM ordered two TW 6000 units to operate a temporary NS service in Houten, connecting Houten station with the new station Houten Castellum. The service, operated by HTM of The Hague on behalf of NS, ran from January 2001 until December 2008. One unit (6016) has since been scrapped, the other (6021) sold to BKV of Budapest, where it is in service with new number 1585.
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