INTRO: Now being built under a Public-Private Partnership, the first phase of Tenerife’s planned light rail network is expected to open in March 2007

WORKIS now underway on a 12·4 km light rail route in Santa Cruz de Tenerife, which is being built under a Public-Private Partnership between the island authority and the Tenemetro consortium. Revenue service is due to start in March 2007.

Phase 1 of Tenerife’s light rail programme runs from Intercambiador to La Trinidad, serving 22 stops spaced at an average distance of 560m. Running mainly on a median strip, the double-track alignment will be largely segregated from road traffic.

The construction project includes an extensive programme of works to improve the urban environment, including new pavements and road surfaces as well as the planting of 3000 trees and 50000m2 of grass along the alignment. The two areas that will benefit from the most extensive remodelling are Imeldo Serís in Santa Cruz and La Trinidade in La Laguna.

Builder and operator Metropolitano de Tenerife SA has presented proposals for traction power to be supplied by five of the 10 wind turbines generating 10MW that the regional government is planning to install on the island. MTSA says that the use of regenerative braking by its fleet of Citadis LRVs will represent a 20% saving in energy consumption.


According to MTSA Managing Director Andrés Muñoz de Dios, the project is unique among Spanish light rail projects for having adopted the PPP model. The Tenerife island local authority owns 80% of MTSA, which is responsible for building and operating the route, with 14% held by the Tenemetro consortium of Transdev, Ineco and Somague. The remaining 6% is held by the Caja de Canarias bank.

Tenemetro is providing 5% of the total project cost of €227·9m (Table I), and will receive up to 20% of the €3·5m a year availability payment once the line is in operation, subject to meeting agreed performance and availability targets in its contract with the Tenerife island authority. Construction risk is to be borne by the contractors and MTSA, with operating risk borne by MTSA and the syndicate of banks which will be administering loans of up to €128m for the project to the Canary Islands regional government from the European Investment Bank.

Contract structure

Civils and track work have been divided into two contracts, with Section 1 covering La Trinidad - Las Mantecas and Section 2 the remainder to Intercambiador (Table II).

Construction and fitting-out of the rolling stock maintenance depot on a 22000m2 site has been tendered separately. This building is now nearing completion and should be ready to receive the first car at the beginning of November, the contractors having caught up on a five-month backlog at the beginning of September. Designed to accommodate 35 cars in anticipation of phases 2 and 3, the depot will have nine tracks serving the maintenance building and 13 in the stabling area.

The systems contract awarded to Efacec and Ikusi covers signalling, telecommunications, CCTV, passenger information and fare collection. Efacec is also responsible for the electrification work, which includes the construction of seven traction substations as well as the supply and installation of overhead line equipment. To minimise visual intrusion, a lightweight support system has been selected for parts of the old town. The two contact wires for the double track will be suspended from a synthetic spanwire attached to adjacent buildings, eliminating at a stroke both the insulators and support poles in the town centre.

Alstom is supplying an initial fleet of 20 Citadis 302 cars, which will have all wheels driven by six 120 kW motors to cope with the steeply-graded route. The vehicles are being assembled at Alstom’s Barcelona plant, and following delivery, they will be tested on a short section of line between the depot and Guajara.

When the first line opens in March 2007, services are expected to operate at 5 min headways at peak times. Serving the two major hospitals - Hospital Universitario de Canarias and Hospital Nuestra Señora de La Candelaria - as well as the University of La Laguna campus, the route is expected to carry 12·3 million passengers in its first full year of operation.

Average ridership is projected at 44 000 passengers/day. The 32 m long cars will be 2 400 mm wide, with capacity to carry 60 seated and 140 standing passengers. There will also be two wheelchair spaces. Maximum speed for the LRVs is 70 km/h, and Tenemetro’s operating partner Transdev expects to achieve a commercial speed of 20 km/h including stops. Average end-to-end journey time will be 37 min. Services will operate between 05.00 and 24.00 on weekdays, but MTSA expects to provide a 24 h service at weekends and during public holidays.

TABLE: Table I. Metro Tenerife project finance, km

Funding provider 2003-061 2006-112 Total

Canary Islands region 26·5 45·1 71·6

Municipalities of Santa Cruz de Tenerife and San Cristóbal de La Laguna 6·1 0·0 6·1

Tenemetro 10·0 0·0 10·0

Tenerife island authority 58·0 0·0 58·0

MTSA debt over 30 years 82·2 0·0 82·2

Total - - 227·9

1. Construction phase. 2 Operating phase

TABLE: Table II. Metro Tenerife project budget

Contract/activity Contractor Cost, km

Civil works and tracklaying: Section 1 Dragados, TECSA and PLD 20·37

Section 2 COMSA, NEXO, PPL and TOP 48·91

Depot FCC, Sycosa and VVO 19·02

Electrification Efacec 14·00

Other systems Efacec and Ikusi 13·97

Rolling stock Alstom Transport 49·80

Land acquisition 17·69

Total contracted works 183·76

Contingency fund 11·96

Studies, design and management of works 12·71

Finance and cash flow 19·47

Total project cost 227·90

CAPTION: A 16 m long mock-up of half a Citadis 302low-floor LRV was put on public display in the centre of Santa Cruz earlier this year

CAPTION: ABOVE: Artist’s impression of the completed tramway reservation along Avenida Trinidade, showing the spanwire suspension adopted to minimise the impact of the overhead electrification equipment

ABOVE RIGHT:Tracklaying work underway along Imeldo Serís in Santa Cruz

Photos: Metro Tenerife SA