CHILE: Metro de Santiago has selected Alstom to supply and maintain for 20 years the driverless trains and train control systems for the 25·8 km metro Line 7 now under construction.

Expected to open in 2028, the fully automated line will link Vitacura in the northeast to Renca in the northwest, with 19 stations. It is intended to serve rapidly developing districts to the north of the capital which are home to around 1·3 million inhabitants.

In winning the US$395m contract, Alstom beat off strong competition, with 12 international companies reported to have submitted bids. These included CAF with Thales and CRRC in partnership with Hitachi and Temoinsa. Alstom has been supplying trains to Santiago since rubber-tyred Line 1 opened in 1975, but CAF was selected to supply rolling stock for the capital’s most recent steel-wheeled lines 3 and 6.

The 37 five-car trains will be manufactured at Alstom’s Taubaté plant in São Paulo. The first are expected to arrive in early 2025, with deliveries continuing at two trains/month until mid-2026.

The 2 850 mm wide air-conditioned trains will be 102 m long, with capacity to carry 1 250 passengers, including two dedicated wheelchair spaces per train. As well as onboard CCTV for security, the driverless trains will have external forward-facing cameras to monitor the track. Emergency evacuation doors will be provided at each end of the train, while four help points per car will enable passengers to communicate with the control centre staff.

‘The awarding of the trains is another important step in the progress of this project’, said Metro de Santiago President Louis de Grange when the contract was announced on December 30.

As well as creating 22 000 jobs during construction, Line 7 would ‘generate greater social and territorial equity in a city of 8 million inhabitants’, he added. By serving new districts such as Renca, Cerro Navia and Vitacura, ‘we seek to bring people closer to living in a better city, to be closer to their loved ones, to their places of work or study, to have access to new services and more opportunities’.