Zürich trams new Flexitys and reserve fleet

Chris Wood

The June edition of Tramways & Urban Transit carries a report of the delivery of a mock-up of Zürich's new Flexity trams to Altstetten works. To be used to consult with staff and passengers prior to delivery of the real thing in 2019. They will be in service "in time for the Christmas lights" according to VBZ.

The article also states that the late delivery will mean that the Tram2000s will not start to be withdrawn until 2020, and that the extension of line 2 to Schlieren in 2019 "will require two vehicles from the reserve fleet".

I'm left wondering what this last means. Are there Tram2000s already in the reserve fleet. Or are to see a brief return of the Mirage?.

Robin Jorimann

The reserve fleet: I believe it means no training journeys or other non essential movements take place at peak times. Fingers crossed that an above average number are not out of service!

Andrew Moglestue

There is no actual reserve fleet any more. Due to relentless cost presure, the fleet has been squeezed more and more over the past 20 years or so to the point that VBZ has hardly any spare cars to play with.

As Robin says, part of the response is that there will no longer be training runs at peak times. Also, there will no longer be private hire at peak times. But even so, the fleet will be pretty vulnearble if several cars have to be taken out of service due to accidents or unscheduled repairs.

There was a time VBZ were considering borrowing some of the surplus BLT trams, but this was finally rejected due to the modifications and overhauls that would be required.

In the extreme bus substitution cannot be ruled out on the lighter routes such as the 15.

On the trolleybus routes bus subsititution has sadly become a normal thing as there too the fleet has been honed down to a level that even if all available trolleybuses are in service, the peak demand cannot quite be met.

Only in the case of the tram fleet it is to be assumed that this will be rectified as the new trams enter service.

Chris Wood

I rather thought that might be the case. Although there is always the 'reserve fleet' that lives in Burgwies depot.