The Turkish city of Eskişehir has some new Czech imports, and they’re proving to be a hit throughout the historic streets.
Škoda Transportation’s sleek new line of ForCity Classic trams are now driving through Eskişehir, and their appearance will be recognizable to anyone familiar with their Prague cousins; Škoda also provides many of the trams in the Czech capital, including the popular ForCity 15T.
The 14 Eskişehir trams manufactured by Škoda are 30 meters in length and contain 5 cells each, along with an elegant orange-and-white design that fits in with the city’s colorscape.
But the ForCity Classic has one new state-of-the-art feature: the trams are equipped with lithium–titanate batteries that enable the vehicles to travel more than a kilometer without receiving electrical power.
The batteries kick in when the trams enter historical areas and other parts of the city where it wouldn’t possible or desirable to install the standard overhead electric lines – – a feature that might also prove useful in Prague in the future.
The Turkish city, with a metropolitan population north of 800,000, has a relatively new tram system that was installed earlier this century.
Earlier vehicles were provided by the Canadian company Bombardier, but Škoda Transportation beat out Turkish manufacturer Bozankaya in a 2016 tender that included a request for implementation of the alternative battery power.
These aren’t the first Škoda trams exported to Turkey; the company has also provided vehicles to the historic city of Konya.