Low-Floor Tram Lifting

Lifting low-floor trams after incidents. Commissioned by Antwerp Fire Department, Holmatro supplied a lightweight and fast lifting system that can be connected to existing equipment on the fire truck.

Solutions Provider: Holmatro

Commissioned by: Antwerp Fire Department

Location: Belgium

Low-Floor Tram Lifting
Holmatro lifting system commissioned by Antwerp Fire Department


Antwerp Fire Department ensures the safety of the population and visitors to Antwerp, Zwijndrecht, and Wijnegem. They are always on-standby to protect more than 550,000 people in and around Antwerp, also when it comes to incidents on the rail network

The Antwerp tram is the backbone of public transport in the city of Antwerp. The tram network is 75 kilometers long and includes three tram lines in seven of the nine districts and five neighboring municipalities of the city of Antwerp. It is the second-largest tram network in Belgium, after  Brussels. Since 1873 trams have run continuously in Antwerp and since 1991 the network has been operated by the Flemish transport company “De Lijn”.


With the arrival of low-floor trams, with a floor clearance of up to 35 cm max. this matches the platform height in order to improve tram access for wheelchairs, prams, and buggies. It did, however, become more difficult for the fire department to jack up the trams quickly and safely after an incident. Due to its low build height and thus the limited space under the tram, there was a clear need for a new lightweight lifting system, which could be connected to existing equipment on the fire truck.


For the Antwerp Fire department, Holmatro developed a lifting system that can be linked to the CORE hoses and Rescue pump on the fire truck. With the aid of a rotatable control on a special operating valve, the telescopic cylinders can be controlled remotely. This operation is similar to that of the Rescue cutters, which is familiar to the operators (firefighters).

The aluminum telescopic cylinders each have a capacity of 40 tons and a stroke length of 20 mm and 55 mm. The saddle of the plunger is finished with a special anti-slip coating to protect the base of the tram. In addition, this coating provides extra stability during the lifting and lowering of the vehicle.

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