FLEXITY 2 Trams Wins Prestigious Design Award
The BOMBARDIER FLEXITY 2 tram in service in the Belgian cities of Ghent and Antwerp has won the prestigious Henry Van de Velde Label in recognition of its outstanding design. Competing against over 200 creative and innovative Flemish projects, an independent jury of experts selected the winners based on good design criteria: ecology, ergonomics, aesthetics, functionality and quality. Belgian design agency Yellow Window designed this comfortable and elegant tram for Flemish public transport operator, De Lijn.
“We are honored that the tram we designed for De Lijn has been awarded this nationally and internationally recognized quality label. It is a true recognition of a product with one design that serves 4 masters: the manufacturer, the operator, the driver and the passengers,” says Axel Enthoven, Founder of Yellow Window, formerly known as Enthoven Associates.
The tram’s stylish exterior attracted visitors’ attention when it debuted at the 2014 InnoTrans rail exposition, in Berlin, Germany, however its design focus is not limited to the vehicle’s exterior but extends into the tram’s interior as well. It features spacious, sensible seating arrangements and gangways that enable passengers to walk through the entire length of the vehicle – thus enhancing passenger flow, comfort and safety. The tram’s large multi-purpose areas easily accommodate wheelchairs, bicycles and prams and, at nearly 43 meters long, the trams do not only convince with their design, but also carry up to 40% more passengers than their predecessors.
In addition, all vehicles are also equipped with heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems for drivers and passengers. The passenger HVAC system features efficiency improvements such as variable CO2 controlled fresh airflow to ensure an optimized climate.
To date, De Lijn has ordered 88 FLEXITY 2 trams with the first entering service in the Belgian city of Ghent in May 2015. Ghent will receive 26 bi-directional, seven-module, 43 meters long vehicles able to accommodate 378 passengers. Antwerp will receive 62 mono-directional trams, twenty-four will be 43m long seven-module vehicles with a capacity for 380 passengers and 38 will be 31 meters long five-module vehicles able to accommodate 266 passengers capacity. All versions of the trams are 2.3 meters wide and equipped with meter gauge bogies with conventional axles offering a smooth ride as well as low wear and tear of both wheels and tracks. The motorized bogies feature fully suspended motors and gearboxes to keep ground vibrations to a minimum.
The tram’s sleek and elegant design will shape the cityscape of the two biggest Flemish cities in the decades to come. FLEXITY trams have already received design awards in the cities of Berlin, Brussels, Frankfurt and Linz.