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First Citadis for Rio de Janeiro arrives

The first five Citadis for Rio are being manufactured in France, with the remaining 27 built at Alstom’s new facility in Taubaté, Brazil. (Credit: Alstom)

The first new Citadis low-floor tram for Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – the first in a 32-car order for the host of the 2016 Olympic Games – has arrived in the city from Alstom’s La Rochelle assembly facility in France.

In 2013 the VLT Carioca consortium – Companhia de Concessoes Rodoviarias, Odebrecht Transport, Invepar, Riopar, BRT and RATP Dev – awarded Alstom a EUR230m turnkey contract to build a catenary-free tramline, including signalling and telecoms. To enable operation without catenary across the whole route, Alstom’s APS ground-level power supply will be combined with roof-mounted supercapacitors on the 44m-long trams to store energy regenerated during braking.

The first five trams are being manufactured in La Rochelle, with the remaining 27 built at Alstom’s new facility in Taubaté, São Paulo state, inaugurated earlier this year.

The first 14km (8.7-mile) section of the line is expected to open in mid-2016 in time for the 2016 Olympics. When complete, the line will be 28km (17.4-mile) long with 37 stops and will link the city with Santos Dumont airport, Central do Brasil and Leopoldina train stations and Barcas ferry terminal. Expected ridership is 285 000 passengers per day.