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Marcopolo is awaiting orders for its Prosper VLT tram-train platform

20 April 2022
Reading time ~ 3 min
Diesel tram-train Prosper VLT on trials, September 2021
Diesel tram-train Prosper VLT on trials, September 2021. Source: blog-giordaniturismo-com
Litvintsova Olga, Editor of International Projects, ROLLINGSTOCK Agency
Reading time ~ 3 min
Stolchnev Alexey, Russian Projects Editor, ROLLINGSTOCK Agency

Brazil: A mock-up of the tram-train head car was presented at the NT Expo 2022 exhibition, held in March this year in Sao Paulo. Petras Amaral Santos, head of Marcopolo Rail, says that Prosper VLT deliveries are currently being negotiated with regional Brazilian authorities and customers from several Latin American countries.

Marcopolo is known as a manufacturer of buses and is one of the largest suppliers of such vehicles in Latin America. The company unveiled its first railway Prosper VLT tram-train at the end of 2020, which is now operated by Brazilian travel company Giordani Turismo in Bento Gonçalves.

The producer offers customers three modifications of the bidirectional tram-train: urban (in a four-car version, the maximum passenger capacity will be 760 people), intercity (the number of seats in a four-car version will be 290 units) and a modification intended for export to other countries, which can be adapted to individual customer requirements. The tram-train can be produced in two-, three-, four-car composition, for operation on a track of 1000 mm, 1435 mm and 1676 mm gauges. Various traction options are also offered: a diesel engine (this is used in the prototype), a supply from catenary, a hybrid version. Also in the future it will possible to equip it with hydrogen fuel cells traction. The manufacturer claims that work in this direction is underway.

Prosper VLT head car model at NT Expo 2022 Prosper VLT head car model at NT Expo 2022. Source: Jean Carlos,

Marcopolo estimates that the Brazilian market has great demand potential for Prosper VLT, as urban rail transport is currently only present in 13 of the country’s 63 major regions and requires additional investment in the acquisition of a new fleet to support growing passenger traffic. Depending on demand, Marcopolo Rail is ready to produce between 60 and 100 tram-trains annually at its factory in Caxias do Sul. Separately, it is emphasised that the level of rolling stock production localisation is 100%, due to which the price and the maintenance of the vehicle should be cheaper than those of other manufacturers.

The company made the decision to enter the rail vehicle market in 2019 by establishin the Marcopolo Rail division. Its main goal is the development of rail rolling stock for cities with a population of more than 300,000 people. On the company’s website, in addition to Prosper VLT, projects of monorail cars, trams and passenger cars of various service classes are presented.