This article first appeared in the Railway-News magazine, Issue 3 2022.
Although the popularity of trams in the United States is far below the level of their popularity on the old continent, tram lines still enjoy popularity in several American cities.
At present, more than two thirds of gearboxes installed in trams on new lines in the USA were manufactured by the Czech producer Wikov.
“Our role in the renaissance of American tram transport is key. And it is also worth mentioning how much the USA and the Czech Republic are connected in this way.”
So let’s go back to the period after the First World War, when the rapid development of motoring in the USA began to seriously threaten tram transport.
“Back then, only small two-axle trams were produced, which did not have a chance to succeed economically compared to cars and buses. It was necessary to come up with a new concept – a modern tram design with a large passenger capacity and user comfort and which wouldn’t be forced out of the streets of big cities easily.”
The new concept was called the PCC (President’s Conference Committee).
In the autumn of 1936, the first PCC trams rolled out on the streets of New York. They featured rotating, two-axle chassis guaranteeing quieter and smoother operation as well as other innovations. Each axle had its own traction motor, with the axes of the motors being perpendicular to the axles. In addition, the trams’ speed was controlled by a multistage resistor, the so-called accelerator.
“However, the miracle didn’t happen. In the years 1936–1952, only about 5,000 units of trams of the PCC concept were produced in the USA. But… the Americans started selling licences for the PCC concept,” Sychrovský explains.
Railway-News magazine Issue 3, 2023: Wikov MGI and Gmeinder Getriebe – Shared Tram Gearbox Know-How.
Wikov were able to assess Hexagon's tram gearbox radiated noise and make changes to the design to improve the NVH performance.
On September 13, 2023, Wikov successfully acquired a 100% stake in Wessex Precision Machining Limited in the Canadian province of Ontario.
Four diesel-electric multiple unit trains from Indonesian company PT INKA are currently undergoing rigorous testing.
Wikov has joined forces with Hexagon, in this case study, to develop a tram gearbox that minimises noise emission.
Wikov would like to thank everyone who recently attended Hannover Messe 2022 and came over to their stand.
Wikov would like to invite you to Hannover Messe, held from 30th May to 2nd June 2022, in Hannover, Germany.
Wikov will be once again present at Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) from 2nd - 5th May in Houston, USA.
Wikov thank everyone who visited their stand at Eurasia Rail in Istanbul, Turkey and RAIL LIVE in Madrid, Spain.
Join Wikov as they attend Eurasia Rail 2021 at TÜYAP Fair and Congress Centre, Istanbul from 25 - 27 November 2021.
Use the form opposite to get in touch with Wikov directly to discuss any requirements you might have.