A CONSORTIUM led by Siemens Transportation Systems was selected in mid-November to build and equip the first two routes of a planned three-line light rail network in the northern Italian city of Verona. Italian companies Mazzi and CCC will be responsible for civil engineering and trackwork. Siemens will undertake the project management and supply signalling, power supplies, overhead electrification and a fleet of 22 LRVs. Total value of the package is €126m, of which Siemens’ share is €62m.

The two lines are due to open in mid-2004. Line 1 will run from Stadio Bentegodi west of the city centre to to the FS station at Porta Nuova and then run east through the city to a park-and-ride terminal at S Michele Extra in the east. Line 2 will start from Piazetta XVI Ottobre and share tracks through the city to the station, before heading south to Borgo Roma Hospital. This first phase totals 15 route-km serving 35 stops.

The 19m long articulated Combino LRVs will run every 6 min on each route, providing a 3 min headway in the central area. Each car will carry 160 passengers, and have a top speed of 70 km/h.

The city authorities have already negotiated funding for a second phase, which will see Line 2 extended by 4 km southwest to another park-and-ride terminal beside the Verona South motorway interchange. This phase will also include a third line, running northwest from Via G Della Casa to Borgo Trento and the FS station at Parona.