A consortium made up of Hitachi, Hitachi Rail STS and Mitsubishi has signed a US$883 million (£683 million) contract with HPH Consortium, the prime contractor for Panama Metro Line 3. This completes the process that started with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding on 30 August 2018.
Line 3 is a 25km, elevated double-track monorail system, which will include 14 new stations and trains that use re-generative power. Hitachi and Hitachi Rail will provide 28 six-car vehicles (168 cars), the signalling, telecommunication and power systems, the control centre, platform screen doors and depot equipment for the monorail, while Mitsubishi will manage the administration of the project.
Line 3 of Panama Metro, when it opens in mid-2025, will move its passengers through the urban core and fast-growing west side of Panama City before crossing the Panama Canal to tackle the route’s many hills and steep grades.
With breathtaking panoramic views, this line is expected to serve hundreds of thousands of passengers per year. Approximately 800 local jobs are expected to be created during the development of Line 3.
Jason White, Hitachi Rail Group’s executive officer for the Americas, commented: “At Hitachi, innovative technology underpins our product range and transportation solutions.
“In order to provide efficient and cost-effective means of transportation for passengers and operators, we are very pleased to be a provider of cutting-edge railway systems.
“With high-performance and energy-efficient vehicles, the new monorail will deliver a greener future with better mobility for all.”
As traffic congestion in big cities has become a universal problem, there is a growing demand for transportation systems with low environmental impact. Hitachi develops systems to help with urban-flow and energy efficiency, maximizing valuable natural resources, while minimizing operating costs to project stakeholders.
Enzo Carpanetti, director of sales and project management for Hitachi railway systems in Latin America, added:
“In Panama, as in many urbanized areas of the world, heavy traffic congestion impacts economic activity, public health and quality of life.
“This line will reduce traffic and carbon dioxide emissions, and the trains themselves are designed of energy-efficient materials.”
Hitachi’s B-CHOP (Energy Storage for Traction Power Supply) system will be used to harness the train’s re-generative power, substantially reducing energy consumption throughout the railway system. When the train is in braking mode it can produce regenerative power, reducing CO₂ emissions while providing power for future use that does not need to be drawn from a central power grid.