Trial operation began on a 6km (3.7-mile) stretch of the new tramway in Santos, Brazil, between Mascarenhas de Moraes and João Ribeiro, on 27 April. Two of the 43.7m seven-section Tramlink low-floor vehicles, the first of a 22-car order placed with a consortium of Vossloh Espana and local manufacturer T’Trans in 2012 – are providing free travel across the section’s seven stops Monday to Friday between 13.00 and 16.00. A journey takes 24 minutes, with an average testing speed of 20km/h (12.5mph).
The remainder of the 11km (6.8-mile) first line is reported to be 95% complete, with full operations scheduled to begin in December.
The next steps of the project will be the completion of the José Menino tunnel between São Vicente and Santos and Pinheiro Machado stations and the depot as further trams arrive.
The first three LRVs were built at Vossloh’s Albuixech factory in Spain, three more are due to arrive in May, while the remainder will be assembled in Brazil with final deliveries planned for early 2016.
A planned second phase envisages a 4km (2.5-mile) branch from Conselheiro Nébias to Valongo serving another 12 stops.