The following news item from the Light Rail Transit Association, in October 2006, should dispel any notion that modern light rail is too expensive to build, with construction costs approaching that of SkyTrain. The equivalent cost of the Véléz Malaga tramway today in Canadian funds is $30.5 million or about $6.6 million per km. to build, including three articulated vehicles. By comparison $30.5 million would by about 300 metres of Kevin Falcon’s proposed SkyTrain extension in Surrey. If TransLink can’t plan for inexpensive LRT, then we should hire some Spanish transit planners who can!
Véléz Malaga opens : The Spanish town of Véléz Malaga finally opened its tramway for public service on 11 October. Over 15000 passengers were carried on the first two days, but the service was free until 16 October. The 4.6-km line links the town (20 km east of Malaga) with its beach resort of Torre del Mar and cost EUR 18 million. The fare then became EUR 1. The infrastructure was completed more than a year ago, but in order to provide the three trams necessary to work the initial service CAF had to take them from the production line of a batch ordered by Sevilla (which is running late with its infrastructure). When cars were delivered and tested it was found that power supply to the Torre del Mar end of the line was weak, and additional electrical infrastructure had to be provided. An extension at the northern end of the line is under construction
16 October 2006