The Variotram (German "Variobahn") is a German-designed model of low-floor tram. Since its introduction in 1993, the Variotram has been manufactured variously by ABB, Adtranz, Bombardier Transportation, and most recently Stadler Rail.


*Bergen Light Rail (on order)
*Verkehrsverbund Rhein-Ruhr in Duisburg
*Helsinki tram
*Metro Light Rail of Sydney
*In the Rhine Neckar Area

Variotram in Helsinki

40 Variotrams were delivered to Helsinki City Transport ( _fi. Helsingin kaupungin liikennelaitos, abbreviated HKL; _sv. Helsingfors stads trafikverk, abbreviated HST) between 1998 and 2004 for use on the Helsinki tram network, at a cost of 76 million.cite web |url= |title= HKL: Motor trams 201 - 240 Variotram |accessdate=2008-06-27 |last= |first= |date=2008-03-27 |format= |publisher=Finnish Tramway Society |language=Finnish and English ]

In service the Variotram was found to be ill-suited for Helsinki's tram network, and the trams have suffered from numerous technical problems; often, less than half of the 40 trams have been in working condition. [cite web |url= |title=Variobahn |accessdate=2008-06-27 |last=Alku |first=Antero |date=2007-05-06 |format= | |language=Finnish] cite web |url= |title=Vikojen vaivaamat raitiovaunut pysyvät Helsingin liikenteessä |accessdate=2007-05-15 |last=Salonen |first=Juha |date=2007-08-24 |format= |publisher=Helsingin Sanomat |language=Finnish ] HKL considered returning the trams to Bombardier (the current owner of the contract for Helsinki's Variotrams) as unsatisfactory, but after a long series of negotiations a compromise was reached in May 2007, when the responsibility for maintaining the trams was transferred to Bombardier.

The contract agreed in May 2007 states that, from May 2008 onwards, if more than four Variotrams in Helsinki are not in operational condition, Bombardier must pay a daily fine to the HKL for every non-operational tram. If more than eight trams are in non-operational condition, HKL has the right to cancel the contract and return the trams to Bombardier, who are obliged to return the €76 million that HKL paid for the trams. In order to cope with the requirements of the agreement, Bombardier founded it's own maintenance workshop in Helsinki in mid-2008, located in premises of the former VR Group electric locomotive workshop in Pasilan konepaja. [cite web |url= |title=Tram repair shop: Bombardier Transportation |accessdate=2008-08-29 |last= |first= |date= |format= |publisher=Finnish Tramway Society |language=Finnish ]


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