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Siemens Trams May Need Re-Construction
Siemens' Combino trams may need to be rebuilt from the wheels up, according to an internal document obtained by a newspaper. A design error means the roof might fall in, and the bodywork must be replaced on each and every one of the 450 trams manufactured so far. Only the bogies can be kept. The cost is likely to exceed the €368m Siemens has set aside.
The Combino page on Siemens' website states:
On March 12, 2004, Siemens informed its customers that problems with carbody strength could not be ruled out in the case of the Combino type trams. This step was prompted by findings of the in-depth investigations conducted in the previous months. In extreme situations, such as collisions, the trams could incur damage which cannot be clearly calculated. As a precaution, therefore, the Combino customers were asked to take vehicles with mileages in excess of 120,000 kilometers temporarily out of service.
Siemens is working intensively on solutions to these current problems. It is for this express purpose that 170 experts have been called together from the various Groups at Siemens AG. All affected Combino vehicles are to be examined using a special X-ray process permitting the reliable evaluation of the condition. Several trams have already been able to enter revenue service again. At the same time Siemens has developed technical measures that are to be applied to two stages: an interim solution allowing passenger service to be maintained to the greatest possible extent; and a permanent solution. In all cases, Siemens has been working closely together with its customers.
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