Rio de Janeiro Light Rail

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Rio de Janeiro Light Rail
VLT Rio 07 2016 7780.jpg
Native nameVLT Carioca
OwnerMunicipality of Rio de Janeiro
Locale Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil
Transit type Light rail
Number of lines3
Number of stations42
Began operation5 June 2016
Operator(s)Operação Urbana Porto Maravilha
Number of vehicles32 Alstom Citadis 402 trams [1]
Train length44 m (144 ft 4 14 in)
Headway 3-15 minutes
30 minutes (night)
System length28 km (17 mi)
Track gauge 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) standard gauge
Electrification 750 V DC (Alstom APS/SRS) [1] [2]
Average speed15 km/h (9.3 mph)
System map


Rio de Janeiro Light Rail (Portuguese : VLT do Rio de Janeiro) is a modern light rail system serving Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The system is among several new public transport developments in the region ahead of the city's successful bid for the 2016 Summer Olympics. [1] Its official name is VLT Carioca, the initialism "VLT" (which stands for veículo leve sobre trilhos, literally Light vehicle on rails) being equivalent to the English term light rail .

Portuguese language Romance language that originated in Portugal

Portuguese is a Western Romance language originating in the Iberian Peninsula. It is the sole official language of Portugal, Brazil, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique, Angola and São Tomé and Príncipe. It also has co-official language status in East Timor, Equatorial Guinea and Macau in China. As the result of expansion during colonial times, a cultural presence of Portuguese and Portuguese creole speakers are also found in Goa, Daman and Diu in India; in Batticaloa on the east coast of Sri Lanka; in the Indonesian island of Flores; in the Malacca state of Malaysia; and the ABC islands in the Caribbean where Papiamento is spoken, while Cape Verdean Creole is the most widely spoken Portuguese-based Creole. A Portuguese-speaking person or nation is referred to as "Lusophone" (Lusófono).

Light rail typically an urban form of public transport using steel-tracked fixed guideways

Light rail, light rail transit(LRT), tram or fast tram is a form of tramway or urban rail transit, using rolling stock, that constitutes a form of tram. They operate at a higher capacity than most historical tramways, and often on an exclusive right-of-way.

Rio de Janeiro Capital of state of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Rio de Janeiro, or simply Rio, is anchor to the Rio de Janeiro metropolitan area and the second-most populous municipality in Brazil and the sixth-most populous in the Americas. Rio de Janeiro is the capital of the state of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil's third-most populous state. Part of the city has been designated as a World Heritage Site, named "Rio de Janeiro: Carioca Landscapes between the Mountain and the Sea", by UNESCO on 1 July 2012 as a Cultural Landscape.



The inaugural LRT service passing Rio de Janeiro's Theatro Municipal. Viagem inaugural do VLT carioca 01.jpg
The inaugural LRT service passing Rio de Janeiro's Theatro Municipal.

The first phase, consisting of a single 15-kilometre line between the Novo Rio Bus Terminal and Santos Dumont Airport and 18 stops, [3] was inaugurated on 5 June 2016, two months ahead of the Olympics opening ceremony, [4] with regular service beginning the following day. For the first month of operation, it was free of charge to ride, but only two trams were in service between noon and 15:00 on the section between Parada dos Museus in Praça Mauá and Santos Dumont Airport. [1] The remainder of the line was opened and service was expanded to full-time operation on 12 July, although only 16 of the 18 stops on the line are in use.

Novo Rio Bus Terminal

Novo Rio Bus Terminal is the main bus station in Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro State, Brazil. The terminal was constructed in 1965 and was built for the proximity to Centro and key routes in and out of Rio de Janeiro.

Santos Dumont Airport airport

Santos Dumont Airport is the second major airport serving Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. It is named after the Brazilian aviation pioneer Alberto Santos Dumont (1873–1932). It is operated by Infraero.

Tram stop place designated for a tram to stop so passengers can board or leave

A tram stop, tram station, streetcar stop, or light rail station is a place designated for a tram, streetcar, or light rail vehicle to stop so passengers can board or alight it. Generally, tram stops share most characteristics of bus stops, but because trams operate on rails, they often include railway platforms, especially if stepless entries are provided for accessibility. However, trams may also be used with bus stop type flags and with mid-street pavements as platforms, in street running mode.

The network uses 32 Alstom Citadis 402 low-floor trams carrying 420 passengers each. They are bi-directional, air-conditioned, have seven sections, and eight doors per side. The first five trams were built in Alstom's facility in La Rochelle, France and shipped to Rio in July 2015, [5] and the remaining 27 were built in Alstom's facility in Taubaté, in the state of São Paulo. [2]

Alstom Citadis low-floor trams built by Alstom

The Alstom Citadis is a family of low-floor trams (streetcars) and light rail vehicles built by Alstom. As of 2017, over 2,300 Citadis trams have been sold and 1,800 tramways are in revenue service throughout the world, with operations in all six inhabited continents. An evolution of Alstom's earlier TFS vehicle, most Citadis vehicles are made in Alstom's factories in La Rochelle, Reichshoffen and Valenciennes, France, and in Barcelona, Spain, and Annaba, Algeria.

Low-floor tram tram that has no stair steps between entrances and the passenger cabin

A low-floor tram is a tram that has no stairsteps between one or more entrances and part or all of the passenger cabin. The low-floor design improves the accessibility of the tram for the public, and also may provide larger windows and more airspace.

Bi-directional vehicle

A bi-directional vehicle is a vehicle that can be driven in either direction, forwards or backwards. Usually, the term refers to rail vehicles, such as trains or trams, that are equipped with operating cabs at both ends. These vehicles generally have entry and exit doors on either side of the vehicle.

There are no overhead lines installed along the entire route. Instead, Alstom has equipped approximately 80% of the line with its proprietary ground-level power supply (APS) system. The remaining 20% uses on-board supercapacitor-based energy storage (SRS), also developed by Alstom. [6] Trams are still equipped with pantographs for use in the maintenance facility.

Ground-level power supply

Ground-level power supply, also known as surface current collection and Alimentation Par le Sol, is a modern method of third-rail electrical pick-up for street trams instead of more common overhead lines, thus it is one of the methods that could allow construction of catenary-free light rail system. It was invented for the Bordeaux tramway, which was constructed from 2000 and opened in 2003. From 2011, the technology has been used as part of other systems around the world, with Reims Tramway, Rio de Janeiro VLT, Angers tramway and Dubai Tram all having adopted the technology.

Supercapacitor Electrochemical capacitor that bridges the gap between electrolytic capacitors and rechargeable batteries

A supercapacitor (SC), also called an ultracapacitor, is a high-capacity capacitor with a capacitance value much higher than other capacitors, but with lower voltage limits, that bridges the gap between electrolytic capacitors and rechargeable batteries. It typically stores 10 to 100 times more energy per unit volume or mass than electrolytic capacitors, can accept and deliver charge much faster than batteries, and tolerates many more charge and discharge cycles than rechargeable batteries.

Energy storage capture of energy produced at one time for use at a later time

Energy storage is the capture of energy produced at one time for use at a later time. A device that stores energy is generally called an accumulator or battery. Energy comes in multiple forms including radiation, chemical, gravitational potential, electrical potential, electricity, elevated temperature, latent heat and kinetic. Energy storage involves converting energy from forms that are difficult to store to more conveniently or economically storable forms.

The remainder of the three-line, 28-km network will open in stages by the end of 2017. It is estimated that when the entire network is at full capacity, it would be able to eliminate 60% of buses and 15% of automobile traffic circulating in the city centre.

See also

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  1. 1 2 3 4 "Rio's trams will run for the Olympics: Brazil's wire-free modern tramway opens, part of a major revitalisation project for Rio de Janeiro" (July 2016). Tramways & Urban Transit , p. 244. UK: LRTA Publishing.
  2. 1 2 "Rio de Janeiro tramway inaugurated". Railway Gazette International . 6 June 2016. Retrieved 15 October 2016.
  3. "Light Rail". Companhia de Desenvolvimento Urbano da Região do Porto do Rio de Janeiro. 22 May 2011. Retrieved 17 November 2014.
  4. Belen, Nelson (6 June 2016). "After Two Week Delay, VLT Opens in Rio de Janeiro". The Rio Times . Retrieved 7 June 2016.
  5. "First Alstom Citadis Tram Delivered to Rio de Janeiro". Railway News. 10 July 2015. Retrieved 4 November 2017.
  6. "UITP 2015: Alstom launches SRS, a new ground-based static charging system, and extends its APS solution to road transportation". Alstom. 1 June 2015. Retrieved 4 November 2017.