ON NOVEMBER 23 Metro Valparaíso was formally inaugurated by President Ricardo Lagos of Chile, marking the completion of a US$332m programme to upgrade the Puerto - Limache suburban route operated by EFE subsidiary Merval. As part of the upgrade, Alstom Transport has supplied a fleet of two-car X’Trapolis EMUs, each seating 148 passengers and accommodating a total of 392.

Metro Valparaíso has begun operations with 10 EMUs, enabling it to operate trains every 10min during the peaks on the core Puerto - El Bellota section. This is due to increase to every 5min when the full fleet of 27 trains is ready for service in June.

All 20 stations on the route have been equipped with turnstiles, activated by contactless smartcard ticketing. Under Metro Valparaíso’s zonal fares structure, journeys are cheaper outside the peaks of 07.30 to 09.30 and 18.00 to 19.30 on weekdays.