By Lisa Flueckiger, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Twelve of the fifteen new trains for the Metro Line 4 have arrived in Rio de Janeiro from China and will be put to the test with passengers on the city’s existing Lines 1 and 2 starting on Wednesday, June 10th. The new Metro Line 4 connecting Ipanema to Barra da Tijuca is expected to open in June 2016.
The inauguration of the new trains, all of which will have six cars and can transport 1,800 passengers, will be made by Rio Governor Luiz Fernando Pezão and is expected to take place today (June 10th). The trains will be gradually implemented into operation at the existing two metro lines in Rio.
The introduction of the new cars will also facilitate the replacement of the thirty old trains circulating on Line 1 and 2, which are in need of repairs, as some have been in operation since the 1980s. Negotiations are currently taking place and a solution for the old cars is expected in around four months.
“The trains are very good, but they have had a long life. One thing is certain: we can not continue with this fleet of thirty trains as they are. Investments will have to be made,” Secretary of Transport, Carlos Roberto Osorio, announced.
The old trains make up 61 percent of the current metro fleet of 49 trains. In 2012, nineteen trains were already bought from China for R$320 million to increase the fleet. With the fifteen new trains from Line 4, the number of trains will increase by another thirty percent.
The last trains of the twelve had arrived on June 7th with the remaining three trains from Line 4 expected to arrive from China in December 2015. The new line will reduce journey time from Barra to Ipanema to thirteen minutes, and Barra to Centro to 34 minutes. The six new stations leading from Barra to General Osório in Ipanema will be; Jardim Oceânico, São Conrado, Gávea, Antero de Quental, Jardim de Alah and Nossa Senhora da Paz.