THE FIRST three-car Metropolis trainset for the metro line under construction in Santo Domingo left Alstom's factory in Barcelona on December 14. The ship delivering the train is expected to dock in the Dominican Republic in early January.

Transport authority OPRET announced the award of a €92·5m contract for Alstom to supply 19 three-car trains on June 6 2006. The standard gauge units have air-conditioning, CCTV and onboard passenger information, and according to the manufacturer they will accommodate up to 617 passengers.

The 14 km partially-elevated metro Line 1 is scheduled to open in September 2008, with overhead electrification at 1·5 kV DC. It will serve 16 stations on the route from Villa Mella in the north of Santo Domingo and La Feria to the south, improving access to commercial and office centres and the universities in the congested capital.