BRAZIL: The first Citadis tram for Rio de Janeiro has arrived in the city after a 20 day journey from Alstom’s La Rochelle factory in France.

In 2013 the VLT Carioca consortium of Companhia de Concessoes Rodoviarias, Odebrecht Transport, Invepar, Riopar, BRT and RATP Dev awarded Alstom a €230m turnkey contract to build a catenary-free tram line. In addition to the rolling stock, Alstom is supplying the power supply, signalling and telecoms. To enable catenary-free operation along the whole route, Alstom’s APS ground-level power supply will be installed. The 44 m long trams will also be equipped with supercapacitors to store energy regenerated during braking.

The first five trams are being manufactured in La Rochelle. The remaining 27 are to be produced at Taubaté in São Paulo state, where Alstom inaugurated a factory earlier this year.

The first 14 km section of the line is expected to open in mid-2016 in time for the 2016 Olympic Games. When complete, the line will be 28 km long with 37 stops.