INTERNATIONAL tenders are to be called within the next two or three months for electrical and mechanical systems on Germany’s first purpose-built automated metro line. Verkehrs-Aktiengesellschaft Nürnberg has now put together the funding package for construction of U-Bahn Line U3, which is due to be operational by the end of 2004.

The federal government has agreed to fund 60% of the project. The Bavarian government will fund 25% of the construction costs and 27·5% of the cost of the automation equipment.

Line U3 will initially comprise two short branches, from Rathenauplatz to Maxfeld in the north, and from Rothenburger Strasse to Kleinruth in the southwest. These will be linked by through running on Line U2, and the automation equipment will have to be designed for mixed working of manually-driven and automatic trainsets on this section. In the longer term, VAG is considering the automation of Line U2 as well.