Astra Vagoane eying to produce Romanian trams

Producer of rolling stock Astra Vagoane Calatori Arad (western Romania), owned by Romanian businessman Valer Blidar aims to start next year the production of trams with 2 and 3 carriages, destined mainly to the market in Romania.
Blidar says that at the Inno Trans Railway Fair in Berlin, organized over Sept. 23-26, he will meet with representatives of a relevant multinational’s branch based in Poland to discuss about the realization of a tramway in cooperation, starting next year. Blidar said the company he is running has produced so far only underground train carriages.
Blidar estimates the company will produce, with the technology and facilities it has at present between 25 and 50 tramways a year.

The Romanian businessman said that at present a tramway produced by Siemens or Bombardier costs 2.8 million euros. At Astra, the price of a tramway will account for 60% of the value of the tramways produced by big companies. Blidar expects the company’s biasness will go up 25-30%, after the expansion of portfolio and the start of the tramway production.
„We’ve made market research and noticed that Romania has only very old tramways. At present, we can talk of only a few tramways newer than 5 years,” said Blidar.
At Inno Trans Fair in Berlin, Romania will be present for the first time with a national stand. The fair will gather 14 companies activating in the sectors of design and consulting, repairs and modernizations of rolling stock, construction of railways, according to information carried by the Railway Industry Association.
Last year, in Q1, the company reported about 12 million euros in turnover.
In Q1, 2008, Astra Vagoane reported a similar level, allowing for the rise in costs.
Of the total businesses of rolling stock producer, about 40-45% represent exports to other countries of Europe and Middle East.
The main competitors of Astra Vagoane Calatori are Remar Pascani, owned by Grup Feroviar Roman (Romanian Railway Group), Remar 16 februarie Cluj and Ateliere Grivita, daily Business Standard reports.
Astra Vagoane was established in 1891 under the name of Fabrica de Vagoane si Motoare John Weitzer (John Weitzer carriage and engine plant) and is Romania’s biggest producer of rolling stock.

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