ON APRIL 21, GEC Alsthom confirmed that it had won a 479m zloty contract to supply EMUs to operate the 11 km northern extension of Warszawa metro Line 1, which is due to be completed between Politechnika and the steelworks at Mlociny in 2004. The metro was expected to inaugurate the first 1·5 km section from Politechnika to Centrum last month, with another two stations at Ulica Swietokrzyska and Plac Bankowy scheduled to follow in 2000.

The order covers 108 vehicles, which will be formed as 15 six-car trains able to carry up to 1470 passengers when crush loaded. Car bodies are expected to be fabricated by GEC Alsthom Transporte in Barcelona, although the group says over half of the work will be done in Poland by its local subsidiary GEC Alsthom Konstal in association with other local firms. The EMUs will be based on GEC Alsthom’s Metropolis modular range, which draws on earlier vehicles supplied to 48 cities around the world.

The contract was fiercely contested, with other bidders including Daewoo, Hyundai, DWA, Skoda, Adtranz Pafawag, Siemens and CAF. The two Korean companies were threatening to appeal against the contract award, having been disqualified on technical grounds. o