Absolutely low-floor
three-section trams of new generation
Production Corporation "Uralvagonzavod"


Architectural environment of the modern megapolis is constantly changing. At that, the tram does not manage to fit the pace of development. Technically and aesthetically outdated cars prevent the establishment of comfortable and modern urban environment. In this context, traffic of the roads is only one of the problems requiring urgent solution.

The Task

So we were faced with the task of developing a prototype of low-floor tram for large Russian cities. Once the project has been accepted into the work, by assessing the real timing of its implementation, we realized that we can present R1 prototype in 2014 at «INNOPROM» International Industrial Exhibition.


The basis of R1 design is a special approach to positioning of the tram in urban landscape. Being a means of transportation, it is at the same time an important part of the architectural landscape of the city. This conceptual setting has allowed designers to derive the formula «vehicle + architecture = vehitecture». Synthetic term vehitecture best reflects new interdisciplinary space of vehicle engineering and architecture in which the concept of R1 was created.



The main principle of OKB «Atom» is that the bureau specialists supervise all stages of production in each project in order to minimize differences of serial product from the prototype. Usually, the concept is created without taking into account a lot of technical parameters and is significantly different from final result.

In the process of R1 creation, day by day we were present at the production site of «Uraltransmash» advising employees and tracking workflow. As a result, direct collaboration of engineers with designers and workers allowed reducing the differences between the current model from original concept to 10%. In world industrial design practice, this figure is reached for the first time.



When creating a form of R1, its keynote idea became black Ural gem in a metal rim with mirror surface which literally reflects the city, becoming an integral part of it. We have analyzed the main trends of urban development and created a vehicle capable to be relevant for 10-15 years at the highest rate of development of the infrastructure and architecture of megapolises.

The design of most modern trams supposes aerodynamic shape, while the average speed of the tram in the city is 24 km/hr. A fundamentally different approach was used in the work on appearance of R1 which is above all based on safety of residents of the city. Cabin of the tram literally hangs over the roadway, increasing the angle of vision of the driver. This avoids one of the most common accidents when a pedestrian gets in the driver’s blind spot, bypassing a tram standing at a tram stop in front.

Minimalistic visual solution emphasizes functionality – fundamental feature of public urban transport. Thus, symmetrical shape allows the tram to move without U-turn in both directions. To implement this idea, we have developed a unique system of exterior lighting: the lamps can operate in two modes of illumination (head and tail).

Given the features of development of the Russian cities with high-rise buildings, we paid special attention to the design of the roof. The tram will be visible not only in automotive and pedestrian scale, but also from above, so a number of solutions has been developed allowing to hide technical details located on the roof.



We wanted to turn the tram to the recreation area, to make travel of residents from home to work and back as comfortable as possible. Therefore, our main ambition was to create the interior of R1 with a comfort almost as at home.

Main materials of the car interior include wood, metal and cloth underline Russian identity. We have specially developed and assembled comfortable ergonomic chairs. Another important functional solution is installation of antibacterial handrails with copper tint. Speaker system allows turning on specially selected podcasts of light instrumental music, energetic in the morning and smooth in the evening. To create an atmosphere of comfort, we used special LED lamps with a bright warm light.

Assuming variability of the models for each certain city, we have also made several unique patterns of control panel, which are repeated in floor pattern. Functional component of the pattern include acoustic and ventilation system.

In interior design, we paid special attention to the sills, as this is the first item which passengers pay attention to entering the car.

Cabin design was created based on the results of surveys of professional tram drivers. It allowed achieving intuitive, ergonomic control. Touch screen mounted in the cabin displays an image from the camera inside the car and external video recorders, replacing outdated technology of rearview mirrors. Control panel and unique design of the chairs create an image of the cockpit of a spaceship.



During the development process, we found unique contractors with whom we managed to reconcile the work within strict deadlines while maintaining quality. This allowed us to twice beat the world record in terms of the period of prototype preparation from scratch.

Bureau specialists have developed welded load-bearing structure, where low noise drives of Ultimate company were mounted equipped with sensors that prevent unwanted closing of doors. Specially designed doors not only give a unique appearance to the car, but also provide maximum safety for passengers at entrance and exit.

Tram trolley of model 71409 20 was developed by the specialists of Uraltransmash that makes the price more attractive compared with Western counterparts. In addition, domestic production allows taking into account specifics of Russian tramways. Trolley from Uraltransmash is less sensitive to the quality of rail track and ensures stable operation even in sections with significant defects. Vertical and horizontal cushioning system allows damping all shocks and vibrations from rough rails, not transferring them to the body of the car.

Modular design of the body allows changing the configuration of the car in accordance with the requirements of a particular city or features of a certain route. With it, we can easily provide the necessary capacity of the car and high level of comfort. For example, on the route that connects academic building of the university with dormitories, the number of seats is reduced in favor of greater capacity, while for longer routes a greater number of seats is assumed.

R1 sets new standards not only in design but also in build quality, use of innovative materials, as well as attention to the smallest details. By combining a fundamentally new approach to industrial design and intelligent engineering, R1 changes your attitude to the concept of urban transport.

Series version

Currently, engineers and designers of OKB ATOM adapting tram for serial production


R1 Morocco

OKB ATOM has developed a special sevensections—version of tram R1 for Morocco.

Designers applied special Arabic pattern in the interior and exterior of the tram as one of the key elements of the concept. Exterior paint shade "copper sand" selected taking into account the climatic and cultural characteristics of the state, providing the perfect fusion of the tram to the urban environment.