Rail products supplier Alstom Transport is planning to open a new tramway manufacturing line in Taubaté, Brazil, in order to address the rising Brazilian and Latin American markets.

The new manufacturing line will represent an investment of about €15m for Alstom and will cover an area of 16,000m². It will be at the Alstom group’s existing hydro manufacturing site in Taubaté.

Alstom Transport may produce the first trams for the VLT Carioca consortium for the city of Rio de Janeiro at the tramway manufacturing line in Taubaté.

VLT placed the order in September 2013, under which Alstom will supply a catenary-free tramway system that includes 32 Citadis trams along with power supply, signalling and telecommunication systems.

Alstom said that the total order is worth €450m, of which its share is about €230m.

"The tramway is gaining momentum as one of the solutions for urban mobility issues."

The trams are expected to be delivered between early 2015 and mid-2016 in time for the summer Olympics. Alstom said it will produce the first Citadis in Europe and the remaining ones in Taubaté in order to meet the contractual term.

Alstom Transport Latin America senior vice-president Michel Boccaccio said: "The tramway is gaining momentum as one of the solutions for urban mobility issues in Brazilian and Latin America cities.

"This is why Alstom has decided to invest in a tram line in Taubaté, which will serve Brazilian projects as well as export projects in Latin America."

Alstom has sold 1726 Citadis trams to 43 cities worldwide to date, apart from 1500 Citadis that are already in circulation and have carried over six billion passengers.

Image: The Alstom plant in Taubaté. Photo: courtesy of Alstom.