FINLAND: An alliancing agreement for the construction of the Tampere tramway has been signed by the city council and a consortium of VR Track, Pöyry and YIT.

Announcing the deal on November 29, the partners said the revised cost estimate for the implementation of the project was €238·8m. The national government has agreed to provide €71m.

The consortium had been selected as preferred bidder in June 2015, beating three rival offers from Lemminkäinen with Ramboll, Alstom and A-Insinöörit Suunnittelu, from Destia with Siemens and Sito and from Gülermak.

In October 2016 Škoda Transportation subsidiary Transtech beat CAF, Pesa and Stadler Rail Valencia to be named preferred bidder to supply the fleet of trams.

Construction of the 15 route-km first phase of the tramway is expected to commence in the first half of 2017 with work continuing until 2021. The 1 435 mm gauge double-track line is to run eastwards from the city centre to Sampola where it will split with branches to Tampere University Hospital and south to Hervanta, where the depot will be located.

A planned €44·1m second phase would be built in 2021-24 to extend the network west to Hiedanranta and Lentävänniemi, taking it to 23·5 km.

The project is to be implemented using an alliance model, with the client, designers and contractors co-operating to provide the services required by the city. Mikko Inkala, President of Pöyry's Infrastructure Design Unit, said the council, engineers and contractors had ‘worked hard together for over a year to find the best solutions for the project’, and he anticipated ‘smooth implementation of the project and a high quality light rail system’.

‘The implementation plan drawn up together in the development phase, and a strongly connected alliance team, will create excellent conditions for the smooth implementation of the project’, said Harri Lukkarinen, Managing Director of VR Track.