POLISH tramway operator PKT of Katowice has awarded a US$53·4m contract to GEC Alsthom and its local subsidiary Konstal for modernisation and re-equipment of its principal route from the city to Bytom (RG 2.98 p122). The project is expected to halve journey times on routes 6 and 41 and boost patronage to 30 million journeys/year by 2000.

The turnkey contract covers refurbishment of track, overhead and stations on the 20 km route, installation of new power supply substations and traffic monitoring systems, and the provision of 17 new vehicles. Design and implementation of the upgrading programme is scheduled to take eight months from the signing of the contract.

The low-floor cars will be built by Konstal, with Onix three-phase traction drives. They will have a top speed of 70 km/h. The first car is due to be delivered in March 1999 with the rest of the fleet following at two per month until the end of the year. o