APRIL 15 was the deadline for tenders to supply up to 1400 steel-wheeled metro cars to Paris Transport Authority, under an invitation to bid published in the Official Journal of the European Community on February 12. The MF2000 project covers a fleet of five-car trainsets to replace the existing MF67 stock supplied in 1967-76, at a rate of 90 vehicles a year.

RATP expects to decide by the end of this month which companies have met the terms of the invitation. A shortlist will then be drawn up and detailed negotiations started with the aim of selecting a winning bidder around the end of this year.

The contract is due to be signed in the second quarter of 1999, with a pre-series trainset scheduled to start trial running in Paris by the end of 2001. Series deliveries would begin at the end of 2004.

RATP plans to split the work into five elements: conceptual design and systems integration, including construction of a car mock-up; definition, design and production of the running gear, bodyshells and electrical equipment; and final assembly, delivery and commissioning. RATP has already retained design consultancy Avant-Première to develop the interior and exterior image for the vehicles.

The first series build of 120 MF2000 trainsets (600 cars) is due for delivery in 2004-11. At RATP’s target maximum price of Fr21m per set, this order would be worth around Fr2·5bn. The option for up to 800 more cars would bring the potential value of the total package to Fr5·8bn. o