Mitre line is the most in needTuesday, July 22, 2014
Further works to improve railway system are in store
The introduction of the seven new trains to the Sarmiento line is part of a major overhaul of the railway system which the government has spearheaded after the fatal Once railway tragedy in 2012 impelled them to take action.
The 64 new carriages yesterday are some of the 709 carriages the government plans to replace, with the first order being made from the Qingdao Chinese railway plant CSR Sigan in January, 2013. The first accord had estimated that the 30 new electric trains with six carriages each for the Mitre line and 25 others with nine carriages each would arrive in Argentina by April, 2014.
But the arrival of the new trains from China are behind schedule, as the eight for the Sarmiento line only arrived last July 3, and the government accordingly took almost two weeks to make the specific modifications to the railway and carriages so they could be up and running on the line.
The government estimated yesterday that they would complete the Sarmiento railway line improvements by September, with the introduction of a total 25 new carriages.
The first train for the Sarmiento line to arrive in Argentina was on February 19.
The second accord signed on May 2013, ordered the import of 300 electric-run carriages to renovate all the formations of the General Roca line. To help with the purchase of the new lines, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) had approved a US$1.2-billion loan to the government to help finance the improvement of the suburban lines. The first loan provided for US$300 million focused on improving the line.
At that time, the IDB came out with a statement about the first Roca loan, stating that “the project’s objective is to reduce travel times and accidents and improve reliability, in this way increasing transit in the Buenos Aires City-La Plata corridor.”
Rosario-Mar del Plata lines
The biggest shipment of railway carriages had arrived last year, when 160 carriages for 22 diesel train formations were sent to the lines connecting the Buenos Aires province coastal city of Mar del Plata and the Santa Fe provincial city of Rosario with Buenos Aires. This was followed by 44 carriages which arrived on January 20, 2014 and another shipment of 11 Pullman train carriages in March for first-class services on the lines connecting all three of Argentina’s largest cities which arrived last March.
The Sarmiento line connects the Buenos Aires city district of Once with the Western metropolitan region, while the Mitre line connects the Buenos Aires city district of Retiro with the northern suburbs of the metropolitan area. The San Martín line connects Retiro to the west and the Roca line connects the Constitución city district with the Buenos Aires provincial capital of La Plata and the districts of Ezeiza and Alejandro Korn.