ON MARCH 6, the Swiss canton of Vaud confirmed that it had chosen Alstom to supply new rolling stock and train control systems for the Lausanne metro, which is to be rebuilt and extended by 2005.

The former Lausanne - Ouchy funicular, subsequently converted to a steel-wheeled rack railway, is now to be converted to a rubber-tyred metro, and extended north from Flon to the suburb of Epalinges.

Under the 27m euros train control contract Alstom will supply its modular Urbalis equipment, which provides for driverless operation. However, the canton has yet to decide what degree of automation will be adopted. The rolling stock order covers a fleet of 15 two-car trainsets, worth 56m euros.