Salvador tram (images Bahia State Gov) (5)

BRAZIL: Construction of a three-line tram network in the coastal city of Salvador, capital of Bahia state, is due to start next month. This follows the state government’s approval for the 36∙4 km project on June 14 and the opening of contractors’ tenders on June 4 after bids had been called in December 2023. Contracts for the three lines were signed on June 5-6.

The first line will run for 16∙6 km between Calçada, site of the former main line station, and Ilha de São João to the north. It will follow the alignment of a former suburban railway used for a monorail project that had been in progress since February 2021, but which was later abandoned.

Winning contractor for Line 1 is Consórcio Expresso Mobilidade Salvador, formed of Álya Construtora, Metro Engenharia and MPE Engenharia; the contract value is R$1∙42bn.

Salvador tram (images Bahia State Gov) (1)

The second line, 9∙2 km long, will run from the coastal area of Paripe inland to Águas Claras. This will be built by the Cetenco Engenharia Consortium that includes Consbem Construções e Comércio and Agis Construçao at a cost of R$1∙08bn.

The third route will connect Águas Claras to Piatã on the Atlantic coast, a distance of 10∙5 km. This will be in the hands of a consortium formed of Mota Engil Engenharia e Construçao, Obrascon Huarte Lain and Meir Serviçios e Construçoes, whose bid was valued at R$791∙4m.

Construction of the first line is expected to be complete by October 2027 with the other two routes due to be finished by August 2028. Also included in the programme of works are 7∙5 km of additional carriageways on the BA-528 main road which links Paripe with Águas Claras and a 7∙1 km feeder road in the Parque São Bartolomeu area.

Salvador tram (images Bahia State Gov) (3)

Bahia Governor Jerônimo Rodrigues announced in mid-June that rolling stock for the three routes will consist of 40 seven-section light rail vehicles which the city is to acquire from the city of Cuiabá, capital of Mato Grosso. Cuiabá had ordered the fleet of low-floor Urbos 3 cars from CAF of Spain in 2012, but they were never used in passenger service and the Cuiabá light rail project was abandoned in 2020. Public transport operator Companhia de Transportes do Estado da Bahia has approved acquisition of the mothballed fleet for around R$750m, a decision that was supported by Brazil’s Federal Audit Court.