THE FIRST PHASE of Mexico City’s latest metro line began carrying passengers on December 15. The 23·7 km Line B links Buenavista in the city centre with Ciudad Azteca in the northeastern suburbs, with 21 stations. Services are currently operating on 13·5 km serving 13 stations, but metro operator STC hopes to have the rest of the route open by the end of this year.

Line B is only the second route to run outside the core Federal District, with eight stations in the state of México. When work began in 1994, Line B was due to open in 1997, but construction was delayed by funding problems (MR 99 p49).

Now the decision has been taken to put the first stage into service pending completion of the remainder. STC needs 38 nine-car rubber-tyred trainsets to operate the whole line, and hoped to order new stock in 1998. This procurement has been delayed, but 13 trains have been transferred from other lines to work the first phase.

Like the rest of the Mexico City metro, Line B has been equipped with Sacem train control supplied by Matra Transport International.

The latest installation uses the company’s Digisafe modular technology as developed for Paris Line 14 (Météor), which provides some additional functions including automated reversing at termini. n