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Combino Supra

Combino Supra

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The Combino Supra Combino MkII, or Combino Plus is a new Combino
The Combino is a low floor tram produced by Siemens Transportation Systems . The first prototype was produced in 1996 at the Duewag works in Düsseldorf; the trams are currently made in Krefeld-Uerdingen. Because of its modular design using standardised components, and the resulting reduced costs,...

 model made of stainless steel instead of light materials, and manufactured at a new assembly line in Vienna
Vienna is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Austria and one of the nine states of Austria. Vienna is Austria's primary city, with a population of about 1.723 million , and is by far the largest city in Austria, as well as its cultural, economic, and political centre...


Design differences with original Combino

Unlike the former Combino model, the Combino Supra is designed in nine meter fixed sections. Each section has a bogie
A bogie is a wheeled wagon or trolley. In mechanics terms, a bogie is a chassis or framework carrying wheels, attached to a vehicle. It can be fixed in place, as on a cargo truck, mounted on a swivel, as on a railway carriage/car or locomotive, or sprung as in the suspension of a caterpillar...

, either powered or unpowered. The tram length can be anywhere from two sections (18 meters) to eight (72 meters). In the Budapest and Almada trams, modules are placed in two car blocks, each block joined by a double articulation join. This is in contrast to the original Combino, and other articulated low floor trams, where modules are suspended between others. Siemens claims the axle load
Axle load
The axle load of a wheeled vehicle is the total weight felt by the roadway for all wheels connected to a given axle. Viewed another way, it is the fraction of total vehicle weight resting on a given axle...

 of this design is 10 metric tonnes for a tram width of 2.65 meters, such as the Almada tram.

For the Budapest order, the tram went from nine modules of the original Combino to six modules for the Combino Supra.

The original Combino design featured a half-width door near the drivers cab. The Combino Supra has changed this to a full double-leaf door.


The city transport company of Budapest
BKV is the unified public transport company of Budapest, established in 1968...

 has ordered 40 Combino Supra Budapest NF 12B units. The six-module trams (three units of two carbody sections) are 53.99 meters long, a world record for passenger trams (only exceeded by the 59.4 m CarGoTram
The CarGoTram is a freight tram in Dresden. It supplies Volkswagen's "Transparent Factory" with parts for their automobile production.- History :The idea of building a "transparent factory" for Volkswagen automobile production in Dresden arose in 1997...

 of Dresden). They have been nicknamed óriáshernyó (meaning 'giant caterpillar
Caterpillars are the larval form of members of the order Lepidoptera . They are mostly herbivorous in food habit, although some species are insectivorous. Caterpillars are voracious feeders and many of them are considered to be pests in agriculture...

'). The first two units were delivered March 14, 2006 to Budapest
Budapest is the capital of Hungary. As the largest city of Hungary, it is the country's principal political, cultural, commercial, industrial, and transportation centre. In 2011, Budapest had 1,733,685 inhabitants, down from its 1989 peak of 2,113,645 due to suburbanization. The Budapest Commuter...

, the rest was delivered by the summer of 2007.

In the summer of 2006 problems arose with the Budapest version of the Combino. On August 1, 2006 Budapest mayor Gábor Demszky
Gábor Demszky
Gábor Demszky is a Hungarian politician, lawyer and sociologist by qualification. Demszky was the Mayor of Budapest from 1990 to 2010.- Biography :...

 ordered all six Combino trams to be withdrawn from service until technical problems that arose in the previous months were cleared up. There were problems with the doors, caused by sensitive fail-safe systems which brought trams to a halt for reasons including luggage or the odd leg getting stuck in a door. Siemens AG reportedly admitted the door problem to be a "design fault".

Another problem was the overhead wire system of the track, which was rebuilt in April and June to accommodate the new trams. The rebuilding was done in a hurry and of poor quality, causing the old Ganz trams still running on the track to have problems with their pantographs
Pantograph (rail)
A pantograph for rail lines is a hinged electric-rod device that collects electric current from overhead lines for electric trains or trams. The pantograph typically connects to a one-wire line, with the track acting as the ground wire...

. On July 15 one column of the overhead wire system fell to the road on the Margaret Bridge
Margaret Bridge
Margit híd or Margaret Bridge is a bridge in Budapest, Hungary, connecting Buda and Pest across the Danube. It is the second northernmost and second oldest public bridge in Budapest....

, causing tram services to be suspended between Jászai Mari tér and Moszkva tér till July 25. In the last week of August the wire system was adjusted to prevent new problems from occurring.

The teething problems were eventually sorted out, and all 40 trams were in regular service by the summer of 2007. But Siemens realises further improvements in the ventilation (the vehicles were ordered without air conditioning), and door closing signals will be changed, after inhabitants of the streets passed complained that they are too loud by night.

Almada, Lisbon

The transport company Metro Transportes Sul de Tejo (MST)
Metro Transportes do Sul
The Metro Transportes Sul do Tejo is a light rail system that provides the Almada and Seixal municipalities, Portugal with mass-transit services.-Lines:MTS has three lines:*Line 1: Cacilhas — Corroios*Line 2: Corroios — Pragal...

 ordered 24 four-module Combinos for the new tram network Metro sul do Tejo in Almada, South of Lisbon
Lisbon is the capital city and largest city of Portugal with a population of 545,245 within its administrative limits on a land area of . The urban area of Lisbon extends beyond the administrative city limits with a population of 3 million on an area of , making it the 9th most populous urban...

. Although the first unit was delivered by the end of May 2005, after the problems with the Combino surfaced, the order was converted to stainless steel-bodied Combinos, to be delivered by 2007.

Siemens bought Almada tram C008 to Melbourne, Australia to run in passenger service on Melbourne's tram network
Trams in Melbourne
The Melbourne tramway network is a major form of public transport in Melbourne, the capital city of the state of Victoria, Australia. , the network consisted of of track, 487 trams, 28 routes, and 1,773 tram stops. It was therefore the largest urban tramway network in the world, ahead of the...

, for research and development purposes. However, some commentators believed it was motivated by the potential for an upcoming tram order. C008 ran on Route 16
Melbourne tram route 16
Tram route 16 is a public transport service in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. It runs from the University of Melbourne in the city centre to Kew in the eastern suburbs. It runs through the suburbs of Melbourne, St Kilda, Balaclava, Malvern, and Kew...

, alongside the classic Combino, and other tram models. C008 first entered Melbourne service on Grand Prix shuttles on Route 96
Melbourne tram route 96
Melbourne tram route 96 is a public transport tram and light rail route in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.It is one of Melbourne's busiest tram route carrying 39,700 passengers a day with a frequency of every 10 minutes or less during peak...

in March, and ran on Route 16 thereafter until Saturday, 16 June.

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