PLANNING for the construction of a third light rail route in Grenoble moved ahead last month, when a consortium led by Lyon-based Semaly was appointed to act as prime contractor; other partners are Ingerop, Attica and Sogreah. They will work with local transport authority SMTC and Territoires 38.

Feasibility studies for the 13·5 km route began in 1996, and detailed planning is to be completed for a public enquiry at the end of this year. Construction is to start at the beginning of 2003, and the line is expected to open in September 2005.

Line C will link Seyssins, Seyssinet and and Gières, with a branch to St Martin d’Hères; there will be a total of 21 stops. Line C will interchange with Line A in the city centre, and then meet Line B at its present Université terminus. As part of the project, Line B services will be extended over Line C to Gières.

Semaly has also been appointed to assist SMTC with the acquisition of 35 low-floor LRVs. Under a separate contract, the firm will undertake studies into possible through running between the light rail network and local SNCF lines. n