The development of the Mauritius light-rail system is the first phase of the Metro Express Project, which is expected to become operational by September.

Mauritius Minister of Public Infrastructure and Land Transport Nandcoomar Bodha made the announcement while providing details about the status of work.

Currently, 70% of construction work pertaining to phase one of the project has been completed, including the 13km-long run between Rose Hill and Port Louis.

In the second phase, the light-rail system will be extended from Rose Hill to Quatre Bornes.

“Currently, 70% of construction work pertaining to phase one of the project has been completed.”

Minister Bodha added that the first light-rail vehicle (LRV) is expected to reach Mauritius in July, with a total of six LRVs will be procured by October 2019.

Overall, Spanish rolling stock manufacturer CAF will deliver a total of 18 Urbos light-rail vehicles for the Metro Express light-rail line.

Each 50m-long vehicle will comprise five wagons and seven compartments. They are designed to operate at a speed of 20-25km/h up to a maximum speed of 50km/h.

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The government aims to extend light-rail to Quatre Bornes by 2020. Minister Bodha added that there will be four stations within the area of Quatre Bornes and the journey time from Port Louis to Quatre Bornes will take around 28 minutes.

Overall, the 26kmlong Mauritius Metro Express will extend from Curepipe to Immigration Square in Port Louis and will include 19 stations.

In August 2017, Indian firm Larsen & Toubro (L&T) secured the contract to build the rail system, which is estimated to cost around $565m.