BRAZIL: The first of 30 electric multiple-units which CNR Changchun is supplying for Rio de Janeiro suburban services was officially launched by Carlos José Cunha, President of operating concessionaire SuperVia, state Deputy Governor Luiz Fernando Pezão and Secretary of Transport Julio Lopes on March 20.

'The first journey on a Chinese train is an important moment, because it reflects the new standard of excellence that SuperVia intends to offer', said Cunha.

The new trains are part of an R$2·4bn upgrading of the 225 km suburban rail network. An R$40m operations control centre was brought into use in January, and Silve Freire station which closed in the 1960s was reopened in March.

Using World Bank support, the state government signed the US$165m contract for the 1 600 mm gauge EMUs with a consortium of China National Machinery Import & Export Corp and CNR Changchun Railway Vehicles in June 2009.

The four-car 3 kV DC units have stainless steel bodies, air-conditioning, CCTV, passenger information systems, and capacity for 1 300 passengers. CNR Changchun says they are the first Chinese EMUs to enter service in South America.

All are expected to be in use by September. The state government is currently procuring a further 60 EMUs which would replace older stock by 2014.

  • Under a separate contract CNR Changchun is supplying 19 six-car trains to Metrô Rio. These are scheduled to enter service in time for the FIFA World Cup in 2014. The first vehicles were shipped from China at the end of March, and five trains are expected to arrive in Brazil by May, according to Metrô Rio Engineering Director Jóubert Flores.