Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe has completed the conversion of the traction power supply for the entire 196 km tram network from 600V DC to 750V DC. Railway Supply writes about this with reference to the Railway Gazette.

Berlin tram

The conversion, carried out in early April for two nights without interruption to normal operations, improves energy efficiency and gives BVG the opportunity to improve its operations.

The project entailed modifications to more than 60 rectifiers, 139 transformers and changes to some components on 150 Type GT6 trams. There was no need to modify BVG’s Flexity tram fleet of more than 200 vehicles as these had been built from the outset to accept a 750 V DC power supply.

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BVG had been planning the conversion for more than three years, re-equipping where necessary and carrying out tests.

On the night of 11/12 March, BVG upgraded the isolated Köpenick section in the southeastern suburbs to a higher voltage in anticipation of the main grid conversion. Work began after the last tram completed its route at 01:30 on 12 March. Then there was a test run using increased voltage at 05.30.

The Köpenick project served as a test run for the mainnet transformation that took place three weeks later, allowing equipment and procedures to be tested.

In 2021, the 22 routes of the Berlin tram network served 131.8 million passengers.

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