ON DECEMBER 12 the board of Brussels public transport operator STIB selected CAF as general contractor for the supply of 15 six-car metro trainsets, at a cost of €121·6m. The contract was due to be signed in January, after the regional government had approved the funding, and will include options for maintenance and supply of additional units.

STIB’s current management contract with the region provides for the addition of 9200 seating and standing places to the metro fleet, to relieve congestion on Line 2 and provide capacity for future extensions. Deliveries are scheduled to be completed by July 2006.

The ’Boa’ trains will be 94m long and 2700mm wide, with space for 726 passsengers, offering a total of 10890 places. They will have wide gangways between cars to improve passenger flows, but will be designed as two half-sets that can be separated for maintenance.

Eight of the 12 bogies will be motored. CAF has been left to select its own electrical supplier for the traction equipment, subject to STIB approval. Alstom, Elin or Siemens are seen as likely partners. AnsaldoBreda and Bombardier were the main competitors bidding against CAF for the car order.