On 12 January 2024, Switzerland’s State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) announced the donation of as many as 78 trams to the Ukrainian cities of Lviv and Vinnytsa.
The cities of Bern and Zurich will provide 11 and up to 67 decommissioned but fully operational trams respectively. SECO will organise and finance the transport of the trams to Ukraine as well as organise and fund employee training on the vehicles.
The trams, which are expected to be delivered in late summer, are in good condition and could be used for a further 10 to 12 years. The trams from Bern are the first new generation low-floor trams used in the city.
Due to the Russian war, many displaced people, along with many companies, have moved to the western Ukrainian city of Lviv. This has pushed up the population and road traffic along with it, so the additional trams will be welcomed.
SECO is also financing the construction of a new tram line to a hospital that can be operated with Bern’s low-floor trams.
Swiss tram exports have a long history. Swiss trams were exported to Romania between 2003 and 2010. Between 2007 and 2011, 88 trams were delivered to Vinnytsa from Zurich. And between 2001 and 2016, with the support of SECO, Basel exported 65 trams and 47 carriages to Belgrade in Serbia. The majority of the trams are still in operation today.
SECO press release (in French) – Take a 5 minute French test now
For more stories like this on Switzerland follow us on Facebook and Twitter.