Wireless Streetcar Arrives in Rio
// Next City Daily
The first of 32 Alstom Citadis wireless streetcars arrived in Rio de Janeiro last week. (Credit: Alstom)
Rio Gets Its First Wireless Tram
Railway Gazette International reports that the first of 32 Alstom Citadis wireless streetcars arrived in Rio de Janeiro last week to test the power supply system on a new catenary-free tram line that is set to begin service in time for the 2016 Olympic Games.
The 28-km, 37-stop line is being built by VLT Carioca, a consortium of Brazilian and French rail transport and technology firms. VLT Carioca in turn awarded Alstom a €230 million ($254.5 million U.S.) turnkey contract to construct the line using its APS wire-free power supply system. The system transmits electricity to the trams by energizing a third rail embedded in the pavement when cars pass over it; the rail is de-energized at other times. The trams also have supercapacitors to store energy generated during braking.
The test tram took 20 days to get to Rio from Alstom's plant in La Rochelle, France. Four more trams will be built in La Rochelle, and the other 27 trams that will provide service on the line are being built in a new factory Alstom built in Taubaté in São Paulo state.
The line's 14-km-long initial section will open in mid-2016, in time for the Olympics.
"Let's live on the planet as if we intend to stay."