The order will enable the withdrawal of all 3000 and 4000 series trains, which constitute most of the rolling stock fleet on lines 1 and 3. Asbestos has been found in 94 of the 210 vehicles, which date from 1986-1990, and while TMB says this poses no risk to staff or the public, removal would be virtually impossible. TMB has therefore opted to accelerate replacement of the fleet.

The procurement will be divided into two lots. Lot 1 has an estimated value of €264.6m and comprises 24 1668mm-gauge trains for Line 1. Lot 2 is valued at €182.6m and comprises 18 standard-gauge trains for Line 3.

TMB expects to conclude a contract with the winning bidder next autumn and the fleet will be delivered within 48 months of contract signing.