BRAZIL'S FEDERAL Ministry for Cities announced on August 10 that it was releasing a further tranche of funding worth R$30m for Recife's urban rail network. The ministry has agreed to provide a total of R$78m, of which R$38m was released last May.

Operator Metrorec is hoping to open the South Line between Imbiribeira and Porta Larga by the end of this year (RG 10.05 p609). Metrorec is prioritising the completion of civil works at six stations on the South Line, and on August 15 tendering began for the first phase of an R$8·2m project to build a bus/rail interchange at Cajueiro Seco, the eventual terminus of the route. Other interchanges are to be built at Largo da Paz, Tancredo Neves, Aeroporto and Prazeres under a programme to which the federal government has committed R$28m.

Two substations are to be built at Shopping and Cajueiro Seco on the South Line, for which 236 new staff are being recruited for driving, station and maintenance duties. Elsewhere, Metrorec will use the latest tranche of federal funding to complete resignalling work between Rodoviária and Camaragibe, equip a further three trainsets with air-conditioning and upgrade CCTV and station public address equipment.

Completion of the South Line is expected to increase daily ridership on Metrorec from 180000 to 260000 passengers, with a further increase to 400000 anticipated when all the interchanges are finished.

  • The Ministry for Cities has allocated R$8·8m for investment in the Belo Horizonte network during 2006, where train braking systems are to be upgraded to cut headways from 7min to 5min. A working group was set up at the start of this year to produce a management plan for the network, aiming to eliminate the operating deficit and prepare the ground for transfer from CBTU to local control.