Modern inside, higher level of comfort
You will be impressed with the modern look and improved passenger comfort of the cars which have been designed by the renowned design agency, büro +staubach. For the first time, the seats are padded and the gangway in the middle of the vehicle is wider. Another new feature is the so-called multi-function area at both ends of the vehicle, which gives more space for pushchairs or wheelchairs. Larger windows mean that the internal area is lighter, modern screens show the next station. “When we were designing the new vehicle fleet our motto was ‘Evolution not revolution’”, explained Steffen Bank, one of the Managing Directors of büro+staubach. The design, which remains faithful to the basic dimensions of the range from 1972 to 1974, follows a clean line and is therefore so distinctive that it will last for at least the next 40 years.
Attractive design and the highest level of fire protection
The future flooring should also be able to withstand many decades of use - it was the logical next step that the decision was taken very quickly to use rubber floor coverings from nora systems. Both the Wuppertaler Stadtwerke (WSW) (Wuppertal public utility company) who operate the suspension railway and also the design agency büro+staubach have worked with the rubber specialists from Weinheim for decades. Alongside attractive design of the flooring, fire protection was of paramount importance. “The vehicles for the suspension railway must have the highest level of fire protection”, emphasised the Works Manager of WSW mobil GmbH, Thomas Kaulfuss. “As in some places we are twelve meters above water, essentially the same strict conditions apply as for aeroplanes.” nora floor coverings are safe in firetoxicological terms, as they are not only flame resistant (category Bfls1 in accordance with EN 135011 or equivalent international standards), but also do not contain any chloroorganic compounds, halogens or furans, which could lead to serious injuries to the airways in case of fire.
Durable due its extremely closed surface
As well the fire-resistance of the rubber floor coverings, another characteristic was also important for the operator: nora floor coverings are made entirely of rubber. Due to their extremely closed surface they are extremely durable and resistant to vandalism. “Because the rubber flooring is coloured right through and does not need coating, you can hardly see scratches or other damage”, Kaulfuss knows this from experience. This is because nora floor coverings were also used in the old suspension railway vehicles as well as in the historic “Kaiserwagen” (Emperor’s car). In addition, nora floorings are very easy to clean.
Floors in three different colours
The rubber flooring is both functional and also has an attractive appearance: “The noraplan sentica range has an extensive and finely graduated range of colours”, explains Bank. “That gave us more scope in the colour design of the internal space”. Added to that, noraplan sentica appears to be almost completely solid in colour and yet dirt marks are less likely to be seen. Ten cars have red flooring, ten have yellow and 11 have green flooring. “We liked all three floor colours proposed by the designers so much, that we didn’t want to exclude any one of them”, Works Manager Kaulfuss justified WSW’s decision to use the different coloured floorings. The colour of the rubber flooring is picked out in the seat covers. “The colour design should attract extra attention and create potential for identification”, Bank continued. The new generation of vehicles has successfully achieved a perfect synthesis between tradition and innovation, so that the symbol of Wuppertal is also in an excellent position to face the decades to come.