Škoda Transportation has won a tender for new trams with its ForCity LRV platform. Its bid was better than that of Polish rival company Pesa, which has delivered several dozens of vehicles to Sofia in the past (25 units of the type Pesa Swing 120Na). Under the new contract, worth around 24 million euro, Škoda will deliver thirteen trams, spare parts and will take care of staff training. The Sofia transport company will use European grants for the investment.
Škoda states that its Sofia ForCity Classic trams are based one the same concept as those manufactured for Eskişehir, Turkey, but adjusted for Sofia’s 1.009 mm gauge network. The new vehicles will be fully air-conditioned and 100% low-floor. At a capacity of 5 persons/m2, one tram will accommodate almost 200 people. The maximum speed of the trams will be 70 km/h.
Interesting is that Škoda says it is prepared to deliver a 1.435 mm version of the ForCity Classic if the customer is interested. The older lines in Sofia have the 1.009 mm gauge. Since the late 80s, new lines were built that have the standard European track gauge of 1.435 mm.