Metrô do Cariri starts trials
BRAZIL: Following its inauguration by Ceará state governor Cid Gomes on December 1, the Metrô do Cariri entered service on December 2.
Travel will be free on the 13·6 km light rail route during the initial trial running phase, when operator Metrofor will offer services between 09.00 and 13.00 with stops at Juazeiro, Teatro and Crato. Once construction is completed in 2010, the line will serve nine stations with 38 daily trips each way between 05.30 and 22.30, and is expected to carry 5000 passengers per day.
The metre-gauge line uses part of the former Rffsa route which is currently used by freight operator CFN and has been renovated to modern signalling and safety standards. The total cost of the project, launched in late 2006, rose from initial estimates of 13·2m reais to around 25·2m.
The metro is worked by two bi-directional two-car diesel units manufactured locally by Bom Sinal at a cost of 4·5m reais. The 35·6 m air-conditioned vehicles can accommodate 330 passengers, and have an average speed of 60 km/h.