ECUADOR: A consortium of Alstom, Compagnie International de Maintenance and the NGE Group joint venture of NGE Contracting and TSO has been selected to complete the civil works on the starter light rail line in Cuenca.

Planning for a modern tramway in the mountainous southern city began in 2011 with opening initially envisaged for early 2016. The 10·5 km standard gauge line is to run from Parque Industrial to Control Sur with 27 stops and a depot at Yanuncay. It has a design capacity of 120 000 passengers per day, and the end-to-end journey time is expected to be 35 min.

In 2013 the GME CITA consortium led by Alstom was awarded a contract to provide ‘integrated electromechanical services’ covering both infrastructure and rolling stock. This included provision for a 2 km section of Alstom’s APS ground-level power supply system through the city centre, part of which is a UNESCO protected World Heritage Site.

The latest contract award is intended to bring to an end a series of funding and contractual problems that have delayed completion of the infrastructure. The ACTN consortium will complete trackwork at the depot, prepare roadways for tracklaying where necessary, and undertake preparatory work for the completion of power supply installation.

Alstom is supplying 14 Citadis 302 trams which are 33 m long and have capacity for 285 passengers. The first of these was shipped from Alstom’s La Rochelle plant in France to Cuenca in October 2015, and some dynamic testing has been undertaken since then.

‘Alstom, with its partners, is dedicated to the successful completion of the Cuenca tramway. Looking further ahead, Alstom expects to expand its operations to provide the same high quality and efficient solutions to the rest of the country, in order to benefit the Ecuadorian population’, commented Ludovic D’Hauthuille, Managing Director for Northern Latin America at Alstom.