As Combino low-floor tram railcars are referred to, which were first built by Siemens Duewag 1996 as a prototype.

Due to their modular design with standardized components and the resulting lower price was the Combino as one of the most successful tram - standard types. Around 500 vehicles of this type were sold in the cities of Amsterdam, Augsburg, Basel, Bern, Dusseldorf, Erfurt, Freiburg im Breisgau, Hiroshima, Melbourne, Nordhausen, Potsdam, poses and Ulm. As of 2004 brought a design flaw that led to breakdowns and wear and tear, the Combinos into disrepute.

First time in 2007 the new generation Combino Combino Classic was sold to the city of Bern. Meanwhile, the name is changed: now it's Avenio M. A further development of stainless steel instead of aluminum, Combino Plus, was sold in Budapest and Almada. Since 2009, this model is marketed under the new name Avenio.


The Combino was developed by Siemens Dusseldorf, formerly Duewag AG in response to the constant price pressure in the market. Development began in 1994. Goal of the innovative concept was the change from the often tailor-made small series to a much more economical industrial mass- production. The vehicle was designed as a modular system of standardized components and so should cover all possible uses.

The Combino is available in different lengths, widths three cars (2300, 2400, 2650 mm ) and two gauges, available in single-or bi-directional vehicle, and as DuoCombino with additional diesel engine. Buildings made of aluminum vehicles have a length of 19 meters ( Nordhausen ) to 43 meters ( Basel). The built of steel Combino descendant NF12 Budapest even reaches a length of 54 meters.


Basis of the designs were very close targets of the company, such as the optimization of all modules from a functional, economical and maintenance point of view. For example, the vertical flat side walls. The design should support the goals of the company, be concise and appeal to a large clientele.

The design of the first Combino was developed in 1994-96 by the industrial designer Werner Paulussen. The objective was a friendly and functional vehicle design with high recognition value and optimized ergonomic features. This also included a target -glare display and a good view. Maintenance and life cycle costs were also important factors in the design. The interior is spacious and bright.

Paulussen design supervised the project from 1994 to 2009 and in addition to many studies developed five different vehicle heads for Combino series. The first series came in Potsdam, Augsburg, Freiburg, Basel, Nordhausen and Erfurt used. The second series was made ​​more compact for the Amsterdam Public Transportation. In Amsterdam, 155 vehicles are used, more vehicles of this series were delivered to Poznan and Ulm. For the eight Ulmer vehicles of designer buses took over the color matching. The third series with a very spacious driver's cab drives in Erfurt, Nordhausen, Freiburg, Melbourne, Budapest and Berne with modified front hood. For Freiburg a double target display was applied. The fourth series is used in Almada, Portugal. The Combino vehicles in Budapest and Almada, Portugal are steel cars, which have recently been given the name Avenio. In Bern, the new Combino for Bernmobil in traditional aluminum construction with a completely redesigned vehicle head of Paulussen design and revised interior was presented in December.

In Dalian, China, runs a plagiarism in the approximate Combino design.


The Combino was produced in an aluminum Schraubbauweise in cooperation with the company Alusuisse. The bolted assemblies made of extruded aluminum profiles achieve a good paintable surface. Thus could be saved compared with conventional steel construction straightening and smoothing work.

The Combino has no bogies, but so-called kits - the wheels are mounted in chassis frame, which are non-rotationally arranged under the short car segments, which are then connected by rotary joints and bellows with shaftless, longer car segments. The wheels are not connected by an axle, but individually mounted and driven in pairs with longitudinal engines. Advantage of this design is the continuous low floor, which allows easy entry and Accessibility ( for wheelchairs and strollers ) in the whole train.

However, this design principle has also particularly troubled runnability result, since because of the individual wheels no self in the track done by sinusoidal running and also acts the track guide even with small counter steer in a straight line directly to the entire car body of the drive module and not just on a bogie as in conventional construction. This means a two-axle equivalent runnability and increased wear of the tires and the track, even on straight track. This problem can be observed in many low-floor trams. However, the wear values ​​of many parameters ( rail material, substructure, track conditions, driving style, wheel flange lubrication, etc.. ) Dependent, so in the same vehicle type depending on the location very different values ​​can be achieved.

The modular design of Combinos is designed so that vehicles could theoretically be extended or shortened without much effort ( implemented at numerous vehicles Bernmobil ). For example, required for a drive module controls are all located directly above this, which in particular avoids expensive wiring work. In many aspects of the vehicle also offers advantages for the regular maintenance: As can be seen from the side, for example, powertrain, without having to raise the carriage. In the interior of all the seats are fixed to the side wall in the long modules; the soil is free of restraints and can be easily cleaned, and the seating arrangement can be adjusted by sliding the seats on the rail as needed without extensive modification.

Originally Combinokonzept also provided for uniaxial end modules - such but was realized only at the four- and five-axis prototypes and not pursued.

Combino crisis

Meanwhile, revealed the weaknesses of the aluminum screw system: The bolted aluminum frame of the trains, the compounds dissolve some of the trams show cracks in the connections between roofs and sidewalls. Beginning of 2004 lay still large parts of the Combino fleet because Siemens could not rule collapses of the vehicle roofs or progressive damage to the sidewalls. Siemens had then the customer, including the traffic Potsdam GmbH, given the recommendation to no longer operate Combinos from a mileage of 120,000 kilometers.

As a result of warranty claims from the Combino trams, Siemens Transportation Systems recorded in the second quarter of 2004, an operating loss of 289 million euros; the special charges were estimated at a total of 364 million euros.

Meanwhile, the vast majority of Combinos is up on some badly damaged cars back in service. One of the causes was now recognized that the development engineers had resorted in the calculation of the bodies on calculation formulas for classic high-floor vehicles. They had forgotten that act against each other by multiple joint construction of low-floor vehicles, which mainly roof-mounted equipment and the lack of car parts Wankmöglichkeit significant forces to the overall design. These were generally underestimated and their transmission and effect within the superstructures calculated incorrectly. Cracks occurring at risk as a result the stability of the construction.

According to press reports it is said that 450 of the world's sold Combino trams have to be rebuilt almost completely. Although Siemens denies this, but the group has now formed around 500 million euro provision for these risks. At a renovation of the carriage works Siemens; the first fully restored trams to Amsterdam ( here was delivered in August 2007, the 100th of 155 trains to be refurbished ), Potsdam, Erfurt, Freiburg, Nordhausen and poses. As the first Combino fleet of an operator which the city of Bern is completely renovated since early 2007. In November 2009, the last to be restored in Europe railway was put into operation again, thus completing the upgrading of all Combino trams in Dusseldorf. The refurbished vehicles are characterized by improved load distribution, Wankmöglichkeiten of the bodies among themselves and as a result significantly better handling characteristics.


653 sheets of Combino and Combino Plus are in use internationally.












The transport department of Potsdam managed in 1997 - the first municipality in the world - the Siemens Combino to. When introducing the accessibility of the new car was highlighted. By 2009, a total of 48 vehicles should be purchased - four vehicles per year. The order from Potsdam played a major role in PR campaigns in other cities in the early years. There were new acquisitions planned, vehicles from Potsdam were brought there for demonstration purposes. However, only 16 vehicles were delivered due to financing problems on the part of the city and it was from 2002 to 2004 a postponement of the order.

Due to the Combino crisis ( recall of all Combino vehicles to clean up ) the appointment of the remaining 32 vehicles were canceled. The existing Combinoflotte was completely refurbished by December 2008. As the last of the Combinoprototyp was redeveloped with number 400 by Siemens, to be subsequently transferred to the passenger service.

In October 2008, the public transport company ordered 18 Variobahnnen of Stadler. An appeal by Siemens against the award of this contract to the competitors was dismissed in March 2009.


For Budapest Siemens developed the Combino Plus, a tramcar which, although in the previous Design heavily Combino constructions similar to, but differs in some fundamental ways. Firstly, the design is now made ​​of stainless steel instead of aluminum, on the other hand there are no loose chassis modules more. The vehicle is equipped with 54 meters length of the currently longest tramcars in the world and consists of six elements, each with a chassis that are connected to two different joint types, two of the five joints also allow for a transverse displacement of the car bodies. In March 2006 the first vehicle was delivered. The name Combino Supra is a term of BKV. The deployment in Budapest led to further challenges in the Combino vehicle development. Even from return of the trams was spoken by the competent bodies. On 4 May 2007, the 40th and last train from the Siemens factory in Vienna was delivered to the operator BKV Rt. All vehicles are used on lines 4 and 6.

Combino Duo in Nordhausen

In the tram Nordhausen is used on a non-electrified line in part a duo called Combino model with hybrid drive. Outside equipped with overhead contact line, the vehicles are powered by an 8-cylinder car engine from BMW diesel electric. Like the other vehicles tram Nordhausen this car only three parts and thus quite short, which earned them the nickname " Bambino ".


In November 2001, the city Basel in Berlin advertised with a Combino for themselves. Since the orbits of both cities have different track widths, borrowed one from a Potsdam vehicle has been converted to an optically the Basel tram transport companies.