The Metro Express Project (the Project) indeed marks the history of Mauritius with indelible ink. This innovative and visionary project deserves its place among the largest and most complex infrastructural transportation systems ever undertaken since the independence of Mauritius over half a century ago. The Government of Mauritius (GoM) created Metro Express Limited (MEL), a registered Mauritian Company, incorporated on 26 October 2016, wholly owned by the GoM to implement the project in Mauritius. MEL is responsible for the implementation of a multimodal transit system by pioneering a new sector in the local transport industry through the development, financing, construction, operation and management of the Metro Express Light Rail Transit System in Mauritius. Metro Express Ltd expresses its sincere appreciation to the Government of India, who as a privileged partner, financed the project in equal parts through a grant and a line of credit.
This light rail project embodies the government's vision of a modern Mauritius. It connects the densely populated corridor of Curepipe to Port-Louis via a 26-kilometre railway line, with 19 stations, 2 of which will be state-of-the-art elevated stations and 6 major interchanges (Immigration, Victoria, Rose Hill, Quatre Bornes, Vacoas and Curepipe).
The Project is being implemented in multiple phases as below:
I. Phase 1: Port Louis Victoria to Rose Hill (completed: September 2019)
II. Phase 2a: Port Louis Victoria to Quatre Bornes (planned completion: December 2020)
III. Phase 2b: Port Louis Victoria to Curepipe (planned completion: September 2021)
MEL would like to put on record a major achievement for having completed the installation of about 13 kms of railway track in just two years.
Besides the construction of stations, the scope of the Project included the construction of viaducts and bridges, track works (with substantial ballastless tracks including plinth, embedded and grass tracks), direct-current (DC) electric traction systems, ticketing and passenger information systems and integration with road traffic through advanced signaling systems, procurement of rolling stock (light rail vehicles) from Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles (CAF), Spain and the construction of depots with maintenance equipment.
Stamp: Rs 25 denomination
The stamp depicts the new Metro Express Light Rail Vehicle (LRV).
On a historical note, it is opportune to acknowledge the close link between trains, the development of the postal and internal communication sectors in the country, where many post offices were found on train platforms. The last passenger train, from Port-Louis to Curepipe, left on March 31, 1956. However, the idea of having a railway system back in Mauritius survived and is now a reality.
2019, with the Metro Express, sees the dawn of a new transport era which indeed is a major milestone in the mix of public transportation systems in the country.