STORSTOCKHOLMS Localtrafik has called for expressions of interest in a concession to extend, operate and maintain the Djurgården tram line.

The project will see part of the current heritage tramway to Djurgården expanded into a conventional light rail operation, and the construction of a new section from the present terminus at Norrmalmstorg to Centralstationen will see trams returning to the heart of the city itself.

SL expects the light rail line to replace the current bus route 47 that connects the station with Djurgården, which is home to several of Stockholm's major cultural attractions. The concession document advises bidders that 'the large element of pleasure/leisure time and tourist trips makes it difficult to calculate the potential of future travel to Djurgården'.

Formal tenders are to be submitted by October 1, with the winner likely to be revealed 'during the autumn'. The concession will cover construction, maintenance and operation of the line for a period of 15 years. Revenue services on the route are expected to begin by July 2010.

The current heritage tram operation will be entirely incorporated into the new service. SL expects the concessionaire to commission and manage all civil works and track renewals required for the extension project, together with the acquisition of as many new cars as necessary to operate a 7 to 10 min interval service. The concessionaire is also expected to build a maintenance depot.