USA: Maryland Department of Transportation has selected the Purple Line Transit Partners consortium of Meridiam (70%), Fluor Enterprises (15%) and Star America (15%) as preferred bidder for the 25·7 km Purple Line light rail line serving the northern suburbs of Washington DC.

The PPP contract for the $2bn project was announced on March 2 and is expected to reach financial close in the second quarter of the year.

The concessionaire will design, build, finance, operate and maintain the east-west line. Construction is to begin later this year, with Fluor creating a joint venture with The Lane Construction Corp and Traylor Brothers. Subcontractor Atkins North America is lead designer.

Fluor is also leading a joint venture with Alternate Concepts and CAF USA which will provide 30 years of operations and maintenance from the start of passenger service in early 2022. CAF is to provide a fleet of light rail vehicles.

The Purple Line would link New Carrollton and Bethesda with 19 intermediate stops. It will run partly on dedicated right-of-way and partly in mixed traffic. Interchange will be provided with the Washington metro, MARC commuter lines and Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor.

  • A feature article on urban rail projects in Maryland appears in the March 2014 issue of Metro Report International, available to subscribers in our digital archive.