De Lijn coastal tram fleet set for heavy overhaul

Bombardier has been chosen to complete €6 million heavy overhaul of a fleet of trams operated by Flemish Transport operator De Lijn.

The 20 trams, which operate services on the coastal line between De Panne and Knokke -Heist on Belgium’s west coast, have been in service since the 1980s.

Bombardier will upgrade the trams’ exteriors, including the windows, doors and roofs, as well as technical components such as the battery cabinets, ventilation systems, steering electronics and pneumatic cabinets.

It is the first significant modernisation the fleet has undergone since the start of the new millennium, when the two-car vehicles were fitted with an additional middle car.

The work, which will extend the fleet’s life for another 10 years, will be carried out by Bombardier at its Bruges site.

The first modernised tram will return into service in January 2015, Bombardier has said.