Some T3 trams to be remodeled

Upgrades to the 1960s workhorse will extend the life up to 20 years

The classic T3 tram refuses to retire. A pilot version of a rebuilt model will go into service in a few days. If the pilot testing is successful up to 90 T3 trams could be modernized.

T3 trams have been the backbone of the Prague tram fleet and have been in service since 1960. There are a few variants depending on when they were built or whether they were imported back from other markets. The trams were originally built in Prague by Českomoravská Kolben-Daněk (ČKD).

This is the second time that some of the T3 trams in service are being remodeled. The new version was designed by transportation architect Patrik Kotas, and includes a larger low-floor area to accommodate baby carriages and wheelchairs. The trams will have new electrical equipment and a new look inside and outside. Kotas also designed the modern tram Škoda 15T ForCity Alfa, which went into service in 2010.

The remodeled T3 trams will also be slightly longer than the original ones, as a longer low-floor section will be inserted. The seats will be red and gray plastic. The doors will have an LED safety bar that shows green light when people should board and turns red at the end of the boarding time.

The exterior will have a red and cream color design with a distinctive V-shape on the front. The fronts of trams are given distinctive looks so people with baby carriages or wheelchairs will know which entrance they will need as tram approaches.

If the testing is successful the conversions could take place next year. Many T3 trams are coming to the end of their projected life. The conversion will add up to another 20 years of utility.

The cost of the conversion was Kč 8.4 million, and the pilot tram was rebuilt by Krnovské opravny a strojírny. If the testing is successful the work order for additional trams will have to go to a public tender. The total cost for converting 90 trams could be more than Kč 750 million, but it could be lower if some of the work is done in Prague, where the Prague Transit Company has a customization shop.

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