BRAZIL: Test running began on June 17 on a 2·5 km section between Rachel Queiroz and Virgilio Tavora on the South Line of the Fortaleza metro (RG 1.11 p54).

‘Today is a victory’, announced Ceará State Infrastructure Minister Adail Fontenele, confirming that civil works for the rest of the 24 km metre-gauge, 3 kV DC electrified line between Vila das Flores and the central terminus at Central-Xico da Silva were ‘89% complete’.

Commercial services using a fleet of 20 AnsaldoBreda metro trainsets are expected to start by the end of 2012; so far two trainsets have been delivered to Fortaleza, with six more due before the end of this year under an €86m contract with the Italian supplier.

The state government also confirmed on June 27 that final bids would be submitted in August by consortia seeking to upgrade the 13 km freight line from Parangaba to Mucuripe for passenger operation at a cost of R$265·5m.

Serving the city’s main airport and the World Cup football stadium, the mixed-traffic line would be operated by a fleet of six lightweight diesel railcars supplied by local manufacturer Bom Sinal.