Russia: The presentation of a two-cab three-car tram by PC Transport Systems (PC TS) took place at the company’s site, Nevsky Electric Transport Plant. In the near future, the first vehicle of this model will be supplied to the city and additional 37 such trams will be delivered by autumn.
The new model was developed specifically for Saint-Petersburg under the specification of the operator Gorelektrotrans, with the customer being the city’s transport committee, which concluded a contract with PC TS last April. Under this contract worth 11.6 bln roubles ($149 mln USD), including VAT, 23 two-car and 58 three-car trams should be delivered. It was noted in particular that 38 three-section trams should be able to operate in two-way mode (about $2 mln, including VAT, each). From the outset the transport committee held a tender, however there were no applications submitted. Later, the city obtained the right to buy trams and metro cars from the single supplier with no tender involved.
The 71-932 Nevsky tram is based on the 71-931M Vityaz M model. Two cabs and doors on both sides of the car should allow to operate the rolling stock in shuttle mode where the route does not involve turning circles or when tracks are undergoing repair and temporary diversion tracks are used. In addition, the tram is equipped with two pantographs. Also, as the Director of Gorelektrotrans Denis Minkin notes, thanks to the aluminium body, the tram weighs 3 tons less and has a longer service life without repair of components and assemblies.
The 71-932 Nevsky tram’s interior Source: Pitertransport/vk
The total passenger capacity is 205 people, including 52 seats. The interior employs aluminium alloys and panoramic glazing. The entrance doors are fitted with heating areas to prevent ice formation in cold weather. The car is adapted for passengers with disabilities.
Just like the already supplied two-section 71-923M Bogatyr-M trams, the new model is equipped with Cognitive Tram Pilot, an artificial intelligence-based active automated driver assistance system. According to the manufacturer, this system is installed on all trams for Saint-Petersburg from July 2022 onwards. The set of sensors used in Cognitive Tram Pilot includes 2 cameras fixed under glass in the driver’s cab and 1 locator fitted to the front part of the tram under the body panel. Additionally, to help the driver and increase traffic safety a circular review system is installed together with an integrated system of automatic turnout and a rain sensor that provides for the wipers’ automatic operation.
The 71-932 Nevsky tram’s driver’s cab. Source: PC TS
Thanks to more powerful gel batteries the autonomous operational range of the tram has increased from 1 to 3 km when fully loaded, according to PC TS. The frame allows installing supercapacitors that reduce consumption of electrical power for traction. 71-931M Vityaz trams for Moscow are already fitted with these. Mikhail Lifshitz, Chairman of the ROTEC Board, the supercapacitors manufacturer, noted early in 2022 that they allow recovering more braking energy than lithium-ion storage systems – the ratio is 40% versus 3-5%.
The domestic content in the Nevsky tram is claimed to be at more than 90%, according to Interfax. The news agency cites the PC TS CEO Alexander Dubrovkin that the rest 10% is imported components, including electronics. He also said that this year “around three” more import substitution productions of components are planned to be opened in Saint-Petersburg.
Today there are 113 trams, produced by PC TS, operating in Saint-Petersburg. It should be noted that during the last several years the company has developed several low-floor models specifically for the city: a two-car 71-923M Bogatyr-M tram and a three-car 71-931M Vityaz-Leningrad tram with the aluminium body. At the same time, Uraltransmash (part of the Uralvagonzavod) is currently developing two models of retrotrams for Saint-Petersburg: a two-car 71-421 Petrogradka and a three-car 71-431 Kolomna. The Ural manufacturer should provide the city with 54 such trams; under the contract, the first ones are scheduled for delivery in May 2023. Generally, Saint-Petersburg is the major customer of trams in Russia today: the city plans to purchase 596 trams by 2028.