The ambitious plan by the government of Carlos Alvarado seems to be coming closer and closer to a reality with the announcement on Frida, confirming that the process of “value engineering” has been completed, which must now be complemented with feasibility studies.
The presentation was made by Alvarado, his wife, and first lady Claudia Dobles and the president of the Instituto Costarricense de Ferrocarriles (Incofer), Elizabeth Briceño.
The trio explained that when the electric rain project will run a 73-kilometer route across 15 cantones and have 42 stations.
The Government’s promise includes service frequencies of between three and five minutes.
President Carlos explained that the feasibility stage will begin next week and will be financed with a US$1 million donation by the Central American Bank for Economic Integration (BCIE) and US$300,000 from the Incofer.
The feasibility report would be ready in August, including the environmental and social impact, report and the technical component and the business model of the concession.
The electric train project is expected to cost US$1.235 billion.
Of the 42 stations planned, 37 will be at ground level and five will be elevated.
Currently, the commuter train routes from Cartago, Alajuela, Pavas and Heredia have 24 stations.
The electric train is expected to replace the current commuter train using the existing right of way, to avoid the expropriation process. In addition, it would have one lane for each direction, which increases the frequency of trips.
The majority of transportation projects are stuck in expropriations. An example is the almost 20 years to complete the north section of the Circunvalacion.
The first lady said, “We consider the train project as the backbone for a transformation of the public transport system of our country. The electric train alone will not solve the problems of congestion that Costa Ricans live, but it will be a very important step forward from which other transportation systems are going to be linked”.
The first lady also stressed that this will be a zero carbon emissions transport, because of the electricity matrix that Costa Rica has, which is almost entirely renewable energy.