City News in Brief
An extension of Minsk metro Line 1 was opened on November 7. Totalling 2·7 km, the line serves two stations at Borisovskij Trakt and Uruchije and connects with the existing route at Uskhod. Built at a cost of €170m, the extension serves a number of residential areas in the northeast of the city.
The Victoria state government's Department of Infrastructure has called for expressions of interest in operating Melbourne's suburban rail and tram networks as part of a re-tendering process. The local rail franchise is currently held by Veolia and tram services are operated by Yarra Trams. The new franchises are expected to begin in November 2009.
On November 7, the Tamil Nadu regional government gave its approval for plans to build a two-line metro in Chennai at a cost of 97·6 bn rupees. Together the two lines would total 46·5 km, with around 20 km likely to be built underground. Work is expected to start 'in the current financial year'. The West Bengal government has also offered an additional 1·2bn rupees towards the funding of Kolkata's 13·7 km east-west metro line.
The MTA board awarded a $1·1bn contract for tunnelling on the extension of New York's subway Line 7 from Times Square to a new terminus at 34th Street/11th Avenue. A consortium of Skanska USA, Schiavone Construction and JF Shea Construction was the sole bidder for the contract.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy was due to inaugurate Line 1 of the Nice tram network on November 24. The 8·7 km route runs from Las Planas through the city centre to Pont Michel (RG 10.07 p646).
The 15·4 km tram line in Le Mans was due to open on November 17. It will be operated by Keolis using a fleet of Alstom Citadis 302 cars.
- CAPTION: The first Citadis cars have entered service on Line 1 of the Tunis light rail network. The first car is seen at the terminus at Ben Arous; Line 1 is to be upgraded to cater for the new vehicles, with a total of 46 trams being supplied by Alstom (RG 4.07 p209)