Wednesday 22 September 2021

Costa Rica Railway to Buy Trains for US$30 million

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Guillermo Santana, head of the Incofer, the national railway that has been crippled by accidents and lack of funding
Guillermo Santana, head of the Incofer, the national railway that is crippled by accidents and lack of funding.

QCR – Although the funds are not yet available, nor is there legislative authority to borrow, the Instituto Costarricense de Ferrocarriles (Incofer) – the Costa Rica’s railway – has announced that it intends to purcahse 8 trains.

The purchase would be made with in Europe or North America, says the Incofer, to increase operational capacity and number of passengers.

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Currently, the “tren urbano” (commuter train) that operates lines from Heredia to Cartago and San Jose to Belen, carries on average 7,000 people daily.

The Incofer had expected to start operating the Heredia – Alajuela route next month, however, a head-on crash by two trains on April 8 left the railway short of equipment.

An article on Crhoy reports that “…Guillermo Santana, CEO of Incofer, said the new units will have to comply with national railway infrastructure conditions, for which reason the rolling stock must be modified by the manufacturer and will take longer to arrive. ”

The official indicated that the estimated cost of the railway equipment will be about US$30 million.

A bill is currently in the legislative process for authorizing the Incofer to borrow money to develop an electric train service, in order to  improve transport infrastructure in the Greater Metropolitan Area of San Jose or the GAM.

Santana says the crash earlier this month has two of the “Apolo” locomotives waiting repair or replacement. The two trains are part of 13 used trains the railway purchased for US$10 million dollars, between 2009 and 2013.

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