On 4 July, Nursultan Nazarbaev, President of the Republic of Kazakhstan, laid the first foundation stone of the capital’s future tram network at Nazarbaev University. The public operator, “Astana LRT”, announced that it had awarded the contract to the consortium led by Alstom. Patrick Kron, Alstom CEO, attended the ceremony.
Alstom and its partners will deliver a modern, reliable and high-performing urban turnkey system to Astana. Alstom will lay the tracks and build a depot to maintain and store the trams, install the power supply systems, deliver the signalling and passenger information equipment, equip the line’s 27 stations with utilities and ticket sales services, and provide the rolling stock. Almaty Invest Stroï Project (AIS), a Kazakh public works company, will build the civil engineering structures, including roads, buildings, stations, bridges and viaducts.
The 40-km tram line which will include more than 10 km of overhead tracks on viaducts will link Astana’s international airport to the central train station via the new Abu Dhabi square, and will serve districts to the west and east of the station.
This project will take place in three phases. Construction of the depot, as well as the 16 km of tracks and 8 stations between Abu Dhabi square and the international airport, will start in an initial works stage in 2011. Entry into service is scheduled for 2014. The section linking the station to the city centre from the west (8 kilometres and 6 stations) will be built during the second phase, followed by the section serving the station from the eastern districts (15 kilometres and 13 stations).
During the first phase, Alstom will supply Astana LRT with 12 trams. The contract includes the provision of 40 units. Created to blend smoothly into Astana’s innovative architecture and support the city’s growth, the trams are designed to ensure comfort and safety for passengers. With large bay windows letting in natural light, and quiet, thanks to shock-absorbing pads under the tracks, the trams will also have a platform-height floor and three doors on each side for easy access. Modern information systems keep passengers informed about their trip in real-time.
Alstom teams will pay close attention to the tram’s winterization. Designed to withstand outside temperatures that can range from -40° to +40°C, the tram and its main components will be tested in a climate chamber in the Vienne laboratory over a three-month period. The tram will also be equipped with a ventilation, heating and air-conditioning system designed for such temperatures.
The contract for the first phase will come into force before the end of the year and will be worth more than €300 million for Alstom.
Currently operating in the electric locomotive segment in Kazakhstan, Alstom is entering the region’s urban transport market thanks to its position as world number two (Alstom has sold over 1,500 trams in 40 cities worldwide) and as Kazakhstan’s preferred partner for modernizing its transport infrastructure.
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