THE MADRID REGIONAL government has invited bids for two 30-year concessions to build, operate and maintain three light rail feeder routes in the Spanish capital.

One contract, for which a budget of €292·9m has been set, covers the 5·4 km route from Pinar de Charmartín to Las Tablas. The second, worth up to €598·9m, is for the two routes from Colonia Jardín on Line 10 to Pozuelo de Alarcón (8·6 km) and Boadilla del Monte (13·8 km).

The lines are due to enter service in spring 2007 and tracklaying is now in progress on all three routes. The successful bidders will be expected to reimburse construction costs incurred to date. According to the President of the regional government, Esperanza Aguirre, the building of the 27·8 km network represents an investment of €521·5m. A fleet of 70 Alstom Citadis LRVs has been acquired for €189m.

As Madrid’s €4bn 2003-07 metro investment programme continues, five out of 12 routes are being closed in whole or part for works between June and the end of September. This includes the complete closure of Line 3 in preparation for the arrival of new rolling stock and of Line 7 to adapt the traction power supply system for Series 9000 trains, as well as construction of new stations on lines 6, 8 and 10. n