Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro has commenced operations on the new light-rail vehicle (LRV) system, a move that comes just ahead of the Olympic Games this year.

Built in a two-phased approach, the 28km tramway network has three lines and 31 stations.

Phase I included the installation of the Vila de Mídia-Santo Cristo-Praça Mauá-Cinelândia stretch, and Phase II covers the Central-Barcas, Santo Cristo-América-Central-Candelária, América-Vila de Mídia, and Barcas-Santos Dumont parts.

The line was constructed and will be operated by VLT Carioca consortium, which comprises of CCR, OTP, INVEPAR, RIOPAR, BRT, and RATP Dév. Alstom is providing a full integrated tramway system under a contract awarded by the VLT Carioca consortium in September 2013.

Its Latin America senior Vice-president Michel Boccaccio said: "Alstom is proud to deliver Rio’s tramway line in time for the summer Olympic Games.

"Alstom is proud to deliver Rio’s tramway line in time for the summer Olympic Games."

"This is a great moment for its residents and visitors coming from all over the world as the tramway will help to reduce congestion and pollution while offering a transport mode that is comfortable, reliable and efficiently connected to other forms of mobility."

The contract will see Alstom providing 32 Citadis trams, electrification, signalling, telecommunications, and depot equipment for the LRV system.

The 44m Citadis tram can accommodate 420 passengers at a time and up to 200,000 passengers per day.

The first five trams were manufactured in La Rochelle, France while the remainder 27 are being manufactured in Taubaté, which is the first tram factory in Brazil.

Image: Passenger services commence on the new tramway network in Rio de Janeiro. Photo: courtesy of ALSTOM.