Bratislava Transport Company launches the infrastructure project of the decade: modernisation of the Krasňany Depot is about to begin
The Krasňany Depot modernisation project entails an extensive reconstruction, which will provide better technical facilities and comfort for employees as well as prepare Bratislava for the arrival of new, higher-capacity trams. Extensive works can commence as early as 6 November 2023 thanks to EU funding. Krasňany will be transformed into a depot that meets the highest criteria for modern technology, increased safety and environmental sustainability.
The Krasňany depot was built in the early 1970s to meet the needs of the Transport Company. Today, it is mainly used to store older trams, while providing facilities for the 18 electric buses operated by the Bratislava Transport Company (DPB). In its more than fifty years of operation, the site has not undergone any major modernisation, which makes thorough maintenance of the low-floor trams impracticable even today.
"We have been steadily improving the working environment with our colleagues at DPB ever since we started. Although these are facilities that are out of view of the passengers, they are vital to us as we maintain and service all our vehicles ourselves. The modernisation of the maintenance base, as we call it internally, is a huge project. A project of this magnitude has not been performed by anyone in the company since the Revolution, and its past implementation was somewhat questionable. I am, therefore, very happy that we have managed to embrace it together, complete it and obtain funding, for which we owe a great deal of thanks to the Ministry of Transport and its project team. Now the machinery can be put to work. This will result in better maintenance and a better working and surrounding environment, as well as in a reduction in noise for residents of the surrounding areas," emphasised Martin Rybanský, DPB's Chair of the Board.
Energy savings, improved vehicle maintenance, better working environment and preparation for higher capacity trams The modernisation of the more-than-fifty--year-old buildings will result in complete repairs and their energy efficiency, replacing maintenance technologies and a new system for washing electric buses and trams. The buildings’ energy consumption will be reduced not only by new cladding, but also by technologies that have reduced electricity demands, which will result in significant budget savings over time.
The depot area itself will also undergo modifications, and will now become one compact unit. In addition to reconstruction of the existing halls, a significant part of the utility networks will also be modernised, new roads and paved areas will be built, as well as rails and traction and overhead lines, including a new automated train track construction. Buildings that are not currently in use or that are not included in the designed solution will be demolished. In addition to new cladding, the buildings will also be fitted with eco-friendly green roofs, which will collect rainwater and irrigate the soil through soakaway blocks.
The individual maintenance and staging areas, whose capacity has long been inadequate due to the number of trams stored in the area, will also be extended. In the future, they will be suitable for use with longer and higher-capacity vehicles. The forthcoming tender for large-capacity trams is being addressed by the DPB to reflect the growing number of passengers on the city's tram system.
The construction machinery will start work in early November. The premise underlying commencement of the work was not only obtaining all the necessary opinions and permits but, above all, the funding. The modernisation is made possible due to EU funds from the Operational Programme Integrated Infrastructure, which DPB obtained by signing a contract on a non-repayable financial contribution with the Ministry of Transport. The construction works should last no longer than twelve months and will be performed by Strabag Pozemné staviteľstvo, a company that was awarded the contract in a public tender. During the works, there may be temporarily increased noise or dust in the vicinity of the construction, for which the DPB would like to apologise in advance.
Complex transport restructuring with no impact on passengers Due to the ongoing repair of the line and modernisation of the stops on the Vajnorská radial route, it was a difficult challenge for the DPB to develop such a large infrastructure project. The interrupted operation of the depot will affect all areas: from vehicle dispatching and maintenance to administration and our driving school. The work has had to be coordinated so that none of the company's activities will be paralysed.
Over the course of the project execution, the trams will be serviced in the Jurajov dvor Depot and some of them will be temporarily shut down at selected final stops during the daily peak hours - at the Main Station, Astronomická, Stn. Vinohrady and Rača - Komisárky, while at the latter turning point, trams will also be parked at night due to the logistics of vehicle dispatching. The electric buses will be divided between the Hroboňova and Trnávka depots, where charging infrastructure is in place.