Mauritius inaugurates Phase 2C of the tramway

THE next leg of the Indian Ocean light rail line in Mauritius has been completed with the opening of the 6.5km Phase 2C, which extends the line from Phoenix to Curepipe. The section was inaugurated by the Prime Minister of Mauritius, Mr. Pravind Jugnauth, on October 9th.

The Rs 18.8 billion (US$228.3 million) section was built by Larsen & Toubro (L&T), India. The line now stretches 26 km from Port Louis in the north to Curepipe in the south, with 19 stations including 17 at level and two elevated.

The tests were conducted by Metro Express Ltd (MEL), Rites, L&T and CAF under the supervision of Singapore Metro operator SMRT to ensure the extension was integrated with the rest of the route. A trial run along the new alignment was held on September 16, attended by MEL CEO, Mr. Das Mootanah, International SMRT Consultant, Mr. Lui Wai Meng, CAF Project Manager, Mr. Ander Montes, MEL Chief Operating Officer , Mr. Parama Naidoo and MEL Maintenance Manager, Mr. Mooroogen Chinapen.

Phase 1, which stretches 12.4 km from Victoria to Port Louis to Rose Hill, began commercial operations on January 10, 2020 after months of testing with passengers. The 2.6 km phase 2A from Rose Hill to Quatre Bornes opened on June 20, 2021, with the 3.6 km phase 2B opening at Curepipe on May 8. Phase 3, a branch from Rose Hill to Réduit, should be completed before the end of this year.

In March 2017, the Indian government agreed to fully fund the project through a US$275 million grant to the Mauritian government and a line of credit to the State Bank of Mauritius. In the same month, Rites was appointed consultant and project supervisor, while Systra acted as detailed design consultant.

Phase 1 was also built by L&T under an 18.8 billion rupiah (US$572 million) contract awarded in August 2017, with a Phase 2A construction contract awarded to the company in February 2021. In December 2017, L&T awarded CAF a €100 million turnkey contract. to provide 18 low-floor VLRs, signalling, an automatic vehicle location system, a traffic light priority system, depot equipment and a driving simulator. Elis Infotech Systems, China, provided the smart card ticketing system.

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Jose P. Rogers