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Russia’s ‘Batmobile’ Tram Outclasses Western Analogues – German Media

© RIA Novosti . Grigoriy SisoevThe prototype of the low-floor modular tram car of new generation of R1
The prototype of the low-floor modular tram car of new generation of R1 - Sputnik International
Russia has unveiled a new commuter tram that looks like something from a sci-fi flick and presents a serious challenge to its western counterparts, German media reported on Saturday.

“Russia has for decades been staking on trams and St. Petersburg and Moscow, along with Melbourne and Berlin, boast the longest tram lines around,” the German daily newspaper Die Welt wrote.

Dubbed as “Russian One” (or R1) this futuristic streetcar features LED cabin lighting, felt-covered sofas, wooden handrails, and sliding glass doors that operate by touchscreen.

The tram made its debut in the Chinese city of Qingdao last week, and is expected to hit the streets of China later this year. - Sputnik International
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With shiny black glass and an illuminated display it’s no wonder the locomotive has already been dubbed an “iPhone on rails” and the world’s first business-class tram.

Designed and built by Uralvagonzavod, a company that specializes in tanks, the tram is super high-tech, both inside and out, thanks to Wi-Fi, GPS, and LED mood lighting that changes according to the weather and time of day.

St. Petersburg's Tram Celebrates Its Anniversary - Sputnik International
St. Petersburg's Tram Celebrates Its Anniversary
The cabin interiors – which can fit only 28 people per car and between 190 and 270 total – are designed to give standing passengers more space, while giving seated passengers more comfort.

Mass production of the R1 is scheduled for next year. It will be tested first in Yekaterinburg, then then in Omsk and, finally, in  Moscow.

At around 1 million euros apiece, the R1 is twice cheaper compared to its European counterparts.

Alexei Maslov, the new tram’s designer, is sure that his brainchild will sit well with foreign commuters and will look great gliding elegantly down the streets of Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Melbourne.

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