THE CATALUNYA regional government is planning to start construction of Barcelona’s next metro line at the end of 2004. Line 12 would run for 26·2 km to the west of the city centre from Castelldefels to Sarrià, serving a total of 23 stations of which five would be interchanges with other metro lines, light rail, FGC and Renfe suburban services.

Line 12 is expected to cost €923·5m to build, and would serve a catchment area with a population of 1·5million. To handle a forecast 25million passenger-journeys a year, a fleet of 19 trains would be required, operating at 6min headways.

Metro operator ATM is to lease 39 trains for Lines 3 and 5 from a consortium formed by rolling stock builder CAF and the Kutxa bank, while the 50 trains that Alstom is supplying for Line 9 will be leased from a finance company formed by four banks including La Caixa and Caja Madrid. Deliveries are due to begin 2004-05, and under contracts worth a total of €507·9m annual leasing payments will average €39·6m over 17 years.

H The regional government expects to award in September a contract to build a 1·4 km extension from Terrassa-Rambla on the FGC network to a new station at Vallparadís serving the adjacent university campus (RG 5.02 p230). This is expected to cost up to €78m.