ROLLING STOCK for the first stage of the Istanbul heavy metro is to be supplied by GEC Alsthom’s Valenciennes works in northern France. On September 2 the company announced that Istanbul Ulasim ve Ticaret AS had awarded a 7400bn lira contract for an initial build of 32 cars.

The vehicles will be derived from those supplied to the Caracas metro in Venezuela, and deliveries are expected to start in September 1998, ready for completion of the Taksim - 4 Levent line at the end of the year. Electrical and mechanical works on this section are being undertaken by a consortium of Cegelec with Albayrak and Cengiz at a cost of 22128bn lira.

The rolling stock contract also includes a technology transfer agreement for local construction of a further 64 vehicles to operate the second phase of the metro. Istanbul Municipality was due to receive prequalification bids by September 25 for construction of this section, which will run for 5·5 km south from Taksim through Unkapani and across the Golden Horn into the old city to reach an interchange with the existing light metro and tramway routes at Yenikapi (left). The civil work is expected to cost between 35000bn and 50000bn lira. o