The 44m-long bidirectional vehicles are 3.82m high and 2.65m wide and accommodate up to 420 passengers. The network will be completely catenary-free and the LRVs will operate using Alstom's APS ground power supply system.

The first five of the seven-section vehicles are being built in France while the remaining 27 units will be assembled in Brazil at the recently-commissioned LRV production facility at Alstom's Taubaté plant in São Paulo state. Deliveries are due to be completed next year.

Rio tram drawing

The Porto Maravilha is LRT being implemented as a PPP project by a consortium led by Brazilian companies CCR Group and Invepar, which was awarded a contract to design, build, operate, and maintain the network in April 2013. Consortium member RATP Dev will operate the system for 25 years.

The first phase between Santos Dumont airport and Rodoviária Novo Rio is scheduled to open in the first half of next year in time for the summer Olympic Games, which will be hosted by Rio de Janeiro. When completed, the network will have capacity to carry up to 300,000 passengers per day with trams operating at headways of between three and 15 minutes.

The Reais 1.2bn ($US 380m) project is being funded with the aid of a Reais 532m grant from the federal government's Growth Acceleration Programme (PAC).

Rio tram interior