QCOSTARICA – Despite the “big show” on Monday by President Luis Guillermo Solis, members of his cabinet, legislators of the different parties and the mayor of Alajuela, Roberto Thompson, train service to Alajuela is not going to happen as was planned for in the coming months.
And despite the announcement by the Instituto Costarricense de Ferrocarriles (Incofer) – the railway – to postpone the Alajuela service past the scheduled start of operations my mid-year, the President and his committee inaugurated the service, as part of the commemorative events for the holiday Monday, the day Costa Rica celebrates the 160th anniversary of its hero, Juan Santamaria.
Leaving the station in San Joaquin de Flores in Heredia, the train arrived at Alajuela centre station, in Alameda Tomás Guardia, near the hospital. The 12 kilometre trip went without a hitch, this despite a report of “suspicious packages” found on the line.
The postponement of the Alajuela seriver is due to the head-on collision by two trains on Friday, leaving the Incofer short of two trains, now with only three trains to cover the lines between Cartago – San Jose – Belen and San Jose – Heredia.
“No, I can’t tell you by when, we have to reprogram everything. Possibly during this week we will have a better idea of the new start date of the service to Alajuela. We had talked about the first half of 2016 and that is which is subject to review, I cannot not give more details,” said Guillermo Santana, head of the Incofer, who accompanied President Solis on the inaugural trip.
“This is not the train that will come to Alajuela in the coming years, they will be more modern trains, much faster, there is a strong commitment, so I thank those supporting the adoption of the Incofer law because it help us make this process faster,” said President Solis.
The cost to renew the Heredia – Alajuela line and extend it to the centre of the city cost ¢2.6 billion colones, with work jointly carried out by the Incofer and the municipalities of Heredia and Alajuela.
Once the Alajuela portion of the train is operating, connecting the Alajuela to Cartago via Hereida and San Jose, the trip will be between 90 and 100 minutes.
But for the time being, it’s all about the promises.