With Swing into another era
“After the replacement of the buses, now it’s time for the trams” said Mayor Piotr Krzystek during the ceremony at which the tram was handed over to the residents of Szczecin. The new vehicle has been painted in line with the Floating Garden pattern and has fabric compliant with the brand of Szczecin. It is nearly 32 metres long and can hold 211 passengers at a time (61 sitting). The new tram, which is the 120 NaS model, also called Swing (the name comes from the characteristic rocking on trackways), was manufactured by the PESA factory in Bydgoszcz and given side number 801. The tram is fully computerised, has a low floor, a modern interior (e.g., with four LCD displays providing information to passengers), and an air-conditioning system.
The residents of Szczecin had the opportunity to see the new tram during a transport picnic that was held in the Pogodno depot. Once again they did not disappoint, and around 150 people turned up. They could have a close look at the vehicle, take photos, and even enter it and try out the comfortable seats. The patient ones were also given the chance to take the driver’s seat. To sit behind the steering of the tram required waiting a dozen or so minutes in a queue that stretched almost along the entire vehicle
For the majority of guests it was the first time to witness such a machine with their own eyes. The prevailing words that could be heard from their mouth were “modern” and “very long”. The vehicle, equipped with six doors (four double and two single), consists of five modules, with particular parts joined by as many as four articulations.
“It is the most advanced tram in Europe “– such was the vehicle praised by Tomasz Zaboklicki, the CEO of Pesa, “It’s been manufactured especially for you, adjusted to the needs of Szczecin, the roundabouts and the road system, so that it could traverse the city without any problems“.
There was yet another surprise for some of the guests - namely they could set off on a several-metre trip with the tram driven by the Mayor, Piotr Krzystek.
This is just a start of the purchases of trams for Szczecin. From March next year, 6 modern Swings produced by the factory from Bydgoszcz will run across the city’s trackways. The value of the contract has been estimated at ca. PLN 40 million. At the beginning of the year, a tender is going to be announced for the purchase of other low-floor trams. All in all, Szczecin will have 30 of them.
The first Swing will enter line number eight at the turn of the year, until which time it will serve as a training machine for Szczecin drivers. The city transit system is being systematically renewed: the trackways and trolley wires are and will be undergoing modernisation. In Germany, the city has also purchased 86 “Tatra” trams that previously ran in Berlin. These vehicles will replace the German “Helmuts” and the Polish “Hundred-and-two’s”, as well as some of the more used “Hundred-and-five’s”.
The purchase of low-floor trams, and the modernisation of trackways, the wires, and the Pogodno depot will consume several hundred million zlotys. The city has acquired external funds granted for this purpose.