The contract is worth $US 11m to Aracdis with the Dutch consultancy carrying out detailed engineering of each of Line 3's 18 stations, and providing architecture, structures, tunnels, electrical and mechanical engineering as well as generating all of the plans and tender documents.

The new line will interchange with the metro's existing Line 4 at Paza Egaña, Line 5 at Irrázaval and Line 6 at Ñuñoa, and Arcadis says the major challenge of the project is to develop a design that effectively addresses the interaction with existing lines through tunnels and stations.

Line 3 is due to open in 2018 and will be served by a fleet of 115 new metro cars supplied by CAF which will operate automatically under CBTC installed by Thales. Contracts worth $US 451.9m for this element of the project were awarded last month.