Belgian’s famous Kusttram (coastal tram) line operated by De Lijn runs 70 kilometres along the North Sea coast between Knokke and De Panne. The city of Ostend half way along the line is home to the tram depot. In summer 2020, Ostend was the destination of a 1,700-kilometre sea crossing for the new Urbos 100X trams supplied by Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles (CAF) in the North of Spain.
After the sea crossing, the first vehicle was brought to Ostend via the seaport of Zeebrugge. Final test runs were carried out on De Lijn‘s line network with this vehicle in summer 2020 before the first 48 vehicles enter revenue operation. The newly ordered Urbos 100X trams are to gradually replace the 35-year-old fleet. The first 48 unidirectional trams are for the Kusttram and will run in the eastern and western provinces of Flanders, and in the city of Antwerp. They are part of a delivery of up to 146 five-section trams
HANNING & KAHL is supplying the braking system for the new vehicles. With substantial joint project experience with the Urbos-100 vehicle platform, the braking system was successfully adapted to customer requirements. For De Lijn, the biggest difference between the Urbos 100 and Urbos 100X is no doubt the arrangement of the bogie with axles as opposed to single wheels. The adapted braking system takes these special features into account. This is the first time HANNING & KAHL has deployed the spring-applied caliper HYS 106 for CAF. A further difference is axle selectivity in the trailer bogie, where each axle is independently activated with braking force. Similar to the Urbos 100, the Urbos100X also has an integrated hydraulic auxiliary release function in the HZY K140 PR-NL hydraulic units which are deployed in the motor bogies.
The first vehicles were commissioned at the end of 2019 at CAF’s Zaragoza plant. Commissioning runs were then performed on the vehicle on CAF‘s test grounds. Dynamic commissioning tests the integration of HANNING & KAHL’s braking system into the vehicle environment. All operating modes, braking states and wheel-slide protection are recorded and evaluated. The braking distance measurements are made in compliance with EN 13452. All braking types are triggered at different defined starting speeds. Braking distance, deceleration and jerk are determined and evaluated. These measurements must be performed first with an empty and then with a loaded vehicle. While Covid-19 often made conditions more difficult, all tests were successfully completed in spring, and the trams set off on their sea voyage to Belgium.