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BYD’s SkyRail trains set off for Brazil

The first train, one of 14 produced by BYD for São Paulo’s metro system, will arrive in July for a new line opening in 2026.

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UPDATED: 20 May 2024, 8:19 am

The first BYD train built for the São Paulo Metro’s new Line 17 departed from China’s Zhangjiagang Port on Wednesday and is expected to arrive at its destination in July.

The state-of-the-art monorail train has five carriages and a total capacity of 616 passengers. Among other advanced features, each carriage has a battery system that guarantees autonomous traction between stations.

The new train is one of 14 designed and produced by BYD for Line 17 and is the Chinese manufacturer’s second such project in Brazil after the SkyRail line in Salvador, capital of the northeastern state of Bahia. BYD aims to complete construction of the trains by the end of 2025 ahead of Line 17’s full inauguration in 2026.

[See more: BYD holds talks with Brazilian lithium producer]

The line will connect Congonhas Airport and other parts of the city centre with vital business districts, the University of São Paulo, and densely populated areas to the east in its first phase. When fully completed, it will link up with four other metro lines.

Congonhas is the second busiest airport in Brazil – and its most congested. A planned expansion, set to begin this year, will increase capacity to 29.5 million passengers annually. BYD expects that Line 17, which is designed for a daily flow of 250,000 passengers and departure intervals of less than two minutes, will significantly alleviate road congestion resulting from the higher influx of passengers.

BYD is looking to expand its urban rail business in the Americas and is proposing SkyRail systems for Los Angeles and several other US cities that are similar to the São Paulo project.

UPDATED: 20 May 2024, 8:19 am

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