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Electrification at 9,350ft; the Metro de Quito forges ahead.

Posted by Emily O'Dowd on Oct 27, 2016

Quito Metro.jpgOne of the largest ever metro projects undertaken in South America has taken a major step forward, with Siemens being contracted to electrify the Metro de Quito in Ecuador. The first metro to be built in the country is scheduled to become operational for passengers in 2019. The contract was authorised by the Acciona-Odebrecht consortium who are managing the 42 month construction project. It has been agreed that Siemens will electrify the new double track metro Line One that is planned to connect El Labrador in the North to Quitumbe in the South as well as the downtown areas of the historic city centre. Ecuador’s topography is certainly challenging, with the vast changes in altitude and terrain which can make road travel slow and challenging impacting on major infrastructure projects. The 169 year old German engineering giant will have to bring all its expertise to the project on one of the highest altitude metro builds ever undertaken at 28,000m / 9,350ft above sea level high in the Andean foothills.

Quito has a growing population of 2.3m+ and the metro network will connect 15 stations, improving connectivity and lowering commuting times for passengers. Siemens ( @Siemens ) will supply 46km of rigid catenary, 6km of flexible catenary, eleven traction power supply stations, 29 auxiliary power supply stations and the SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) system for monitoring and controlling the traction power supply.

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Ecuador is behind in its infrastructural developments with the country’s main method of transport still the car. The government has built 43,197km of road networks but lacks a national connecting rail service. The country’s existing train route from Quito to Guayaquil via Lactacunga and Riobamba, is in the process of being rebuilt with only certain locations open for public interest. The remaining three rail networks are predominantly used for tourists to connect: Riobamba to Sibambe, Quito to El Boliche and Ibarra to Primer Paso. To add to the problem for potential rail passengers these routes have limited service at the weekends with a return service usually provided by bus.The completion of the metro in Quito will be a big moment for public transporation in Ecuador. 

Quito Metro.jpgThe new Quito metro ( @MetrodeQuito ) will required construction of more than 22km of tunnels etched out by 9.5 metre tunnelling machines. This new newtork is vital for modernising the current infrastructure links and making metro travel a more lucrative option for commuters than their car. The figures estimate that a surge of 350,000 passengers will be transported per day once it is completed. Not only will this improve journey times by reducing the strain on the roads, but it is anticipated to reduce CO2 emissions by around 30,000 tons a year. 

Siemens has offices located in nearly every country in the world, last year they made €75.6 billion in revenue and now they are ready to invest in Eucador’s modernisation whis electrificaiton of the Metro de Quito. 

For more features from SmartRail World on South America rail news...


Topics: projects

Emily O'Dowd

Written by Emily O'Dowd

On graduating with a degree in English Literature at Royal Holloway University of London, Emily joined the editorial team. When she isn't writing articles for the website or interviewing experts in the industry she enjoys reading, running and sailing.

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