CAF (Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles S.A.) of Spain has selected Adaptaflex conduit systems to provide protection for critical electrical wiring on 19 new Urbos III trams which have been specified by Centro, the West Midlands regional transport authority for the Midland Metro System.  The first of a new fleet of hi-tech trams is being shipped to the West Midlands and will initially be used between Birmingham and Wolverhampton, before being run later on the new extension to Birmingham’s New Street Station.  The trams currently run between Birmingham Snow Hill station and Wolverhampton.

The new trams are due to enter service in April 2014 and the new vehicles will replace the current 16-strong fleet of trams, originally built in Italy.  They offer a larger passenger capacity with each unit capable of carrying 200 persons.

This latest order marks a further stage in the long term commercial relationship between CAF and Adaptaflex.  Adaptaflex conduit systems have been selected for a succession of vehicles manufactured by CAF for similar projects in Europe, North and South America as well as Australia.  This is one of CAF’s biggest projects of its type so far.

Meirion Buck, Technical Manager for the Adaptaflex brand at Thomas & Betts comments: “Our close co-operation with CAF’s engineers on successive projects and our Technical Support has ensured that CAF’s vehicles are always equipped with the most technologically advanced Adaptaflex conduit systems.

This third generation of the Urbos tram is noteworthy for low power consumption, conformance to the strictest eco-design requirements and reliability.  Each unit is 30 metres long, 2.65 metres wide and has an aluminium body.  Lower floors and easier access are key features of the new trams.  Electric cabling features throughout the construction internally and externally for many different power and communications requirements, protected by Adaptaflex conduit systems.

Enhanced Low fire Hazard Type PR non-metallic flexible conduit has been developed for trams, rail infrastructure and other transportation applications. This conduit meets the highest level (HL3) of the new EN45545-2 Standard for harmonised fire protection on railway vehicles.  It will provide protection to many different types of electrical cabling on board the Urbos III, with its mechanical properties making it suitable for applications both externally and internally.  Typically, Type PR conduit, with ATS fittings combined with complementary cable glands, will provide strain relief to electrical cabling entering the roof space of the vehicle. 

The Adaptalok ATS range of one piece moulded fittings has also been specified by CAF, not just on this project but many others globally.  The ATS fittings have been supplied to CAF for many years and provide the highest possible performance from a single component.  The conduit seal and face washer are an integral part of the fitting, providing an IP68 (4 Bar for 30 mins.) rating that can be achieved by a simple ‘push and twist – pull’ installation process.  From CAF’s viewpoint, as a single component, the Adaptalok ATS fitting with its one piece design will ensure that installation times are considerably reduced and ensure the IP integrity.  

Meirion Buck continues: “Adaptalok ATS can be used for the most demanding applications throughout the rail sector.  In addition to its exceptional cable protection qualities, the Adaptalok ATS system has already demonstrated its ability to exceed the requirements of long-life vibration testing.  Vibration is one of the highest stresses experienced on this type of vehicle, potentially causing damage to electrical components. Fitting Adaptalok ATS will help CAF ensure the integrity of all the electrical systems.”

For more information contact Adaptaflex, CMG House, Station Road, Coleshill, Birmingham, B46 1HT, Tel: 01675 468200, Email: or it can be downloaded from and visitors can subscribe to RSS Feeds. Also follow Adaptaflex on Twitter.

CMG House
Station Road
B46 1HT

Tel: +44 (0) 1675 468200
Fax: +44 (0) 1675 464930


Contact:  Ann Timmons