On 1 December the Executive Board of Regio Utrecht (BRU) announced Royal BAM Group as preferred bidder to construct the 8km (five-mile) Uithof extension of the city’s sneltram network.
The EUR440m project will connect Utrecht Centraal station with the large university campus and hospital complex at De Uithof and is expected to open in mid-2018, offering a 17-minute end-to-end running time.
The contract calls for the supply of infrastructure – including track construction, electrification and nine stops – and rolling stock. The new line is a mix of on-street and segregated alignment, finishing at the 2000-space park-and-ride side in De Uithof that opened in September 2013. A secure overnight stabling yard will be created with four sidings for two coupled trams, a total of 16 vehicles.
Route substructure is almost complete, with civil works starting in 2011, and following preparatory works and initial engineering the main construction is expected to begin in late 2015 or early 2016.
On the same day, it was announced that CAF will supply a fleet of 27 32m low-floor trams for the line. The 2.65m-wide vehicles will be air-conditioned and equipped with state-of-the-art passenger information systems.
If the General Board of BRU approves the agreements, the contracts are expected to be signed on 23 December, with the first tram being delivered to the existing Nieuwegein sneltram depot in January 2017.