Three trams in Ghent no longer running as they have no wheels

Three trams in Ghent no longer running as they have no wheels
The tyred wheels are now in need of replacing. Credit: Wikicommons

Three trams in the city of Ghent in the East-Flanders province are no longer running because they do not have wheels, as the supplier is late with the delivery.

In Ghent, twenty Albatros trams, modern 60-metres-long low-floor trams, have been in service for the past four years. The wheels are now in need of replacing, but the delivery of new tyres is taking longer than expected, resulting in three trams no longer being able to run.

"Our supplier has already supplied steel wheels," said Sonja Loos of De Lijn, reports VRT NWS. "But he has forgotten the rubber parts. So we had to wait longer than normal. Meanwhile, the rubber part has been delivered and the trams can be repaired. We expect them to be in service again by the end of next week at the latest," she added.

Although there are normally about 20 Albatrosses in the city, some old trams from the seventies have been serving as a replacement. However, the old trams are smaller and wheelchair passengers cannot get on board without difficulty. "It is not fun that the passengers are left in the cold because of this, but it is not our fault either," Loos added, reports Het Nieuwsblad.

"In every company, there is inventory management for crucial machines," said Filip Watteeuw, Alderman for Mobility in Ghent, reports VRT NWS. "Apparently not here," he said, adding that he thinks it is "absolutely crazy" that De Lijn is currently using written off trams from the seventies.

Watteeuw, who motivates the inhabitants of Ghent to use their bicycles or public transport with a far-reaching circulation plan, is angry about the lack of supply. "In a country that calls itself developed, it is not acceptable that an announced tram does not arrive," he added.

Maïthé Chini

The Brussels Times

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