QCOSTARICA – At 6:00 pm today, Monday, April 26, the first of the new diesel trains to be put into service to the public will arrive at the Atlántico station, in San José.
The unit will be placed on the platform, will open the doors of its two cars and receive the first passengers and then head towards Cartago, on a maiden voyage that will mark the commissioning of the machines purchased from the Chinese company CRRC Qingdao Sifang.
That moment will also become the first time in Costa Rica’s railway history that this mass public transport system operates with new, modern units.
When boarding the train, users will come across many differences in relation to the old units. One of the most striking is that the 74 seats are located on the sides, as is customary in metros.
The placement of the seats makes the aisles very wide and facilitates the flow of passengers getting on and off the units. There are also preferential seating and space for two wheelchairs.
Unlike the old machines, which have a capacity to move 180 passengers, the new trains will be able to carry 376.
The new machines will also solve the perennial problem of excessive heat on travel, as they are air-conditioned.
Another novelty for passengers is the visual and sound information platform, which works with GPS.
In each car there are two LED screens, as well as speakers. Every time the train approaches a station, the system will notify users, at the same time that pre-recorded audio will be transmitted through a speaker by the Universidad Estatal a Distancia (UNED) to notify passengers.
Costa Rica purchased eight units from the CRRC Qingdao Sifang company in December 2018, for an amount of US$32.7 million.
This is the largest investment made by the country to modernize its public rail transport. Before this, Incofer’s largest acquisition was in 2009, with the purchase of four Apolo units for US$2.9 million from the Spanish company Ferrocarriles de Vía Estrecha (Feve).