88 lightweight body shells for Zurich municipal transport system
08.09.08 -The Swiss public transport operator Verkehrsbetriebe Zürich has placed an order for 88 lightweight body shells using an aluminium hybrid construction for the Cobra trams of its municipal transport system. Following a four-year development phase and tests involving six prototype units, delivery of the 37-metre long vehicles to Verkehrsbetriebe Zurich is now planned from mid-2009 onwards.
The customised hybrid structure of the Cobra tram was developed by Alcan Extruded Products using high-performance extrusions, aluminium panels and sandwich floor and roof structures, with three-dimensionally shaped sidewalls and cockpits made from fibre-reinforced resin at both ends of the vehicle.
The marked reduction in weight resulting from the use of aluminium and composite materials will result in lower electricity consumption. Besides the low-floor entrances, the most significant passenger benefits result from the use of sandwich materials which enhance safety as well as ensuring better heat and sound insulation. In addition, the innovative design of the front and rear cabins of the Cobra, which was developed in close co-operation with experts from the insurance industry, minimises the effects of the impact in the event of a collision with pedestrians.