QCOSTARICA – The new commuter trains started their engines 15 minutes before making their maiden voyage to Cartago, this Monday afternoon, from the Atlatinco station, in the Aranjuez neighborhood, San José.
As the occasion was special, the Instituto Costarricense de Ferrocarriles (Incofer) – Costa Rica’s railway – anchored two of the machines acquired in China to show them off to the users of the service during their first tour.
Between the four cars, a single train was formed, just over 60 meters long, with the capacity to transport up to 750 people with a total of 148 seats, in addition to four spaces for wheelchairs.
Passengers began to take their seats, but not before taking a thorough tour of the new trains, observe every element, from the LED screens, to the handles, the buttons to open the doors, to the seats.
“We deserved it,” said Cartago resident Nancy Carpio, the first passenger of the new self-propelled trains that the Incofer inaugurated this Monday.
“It is very beautiful, I have always traveled by train. This serves us all, it is a great effort that the country has made, to give us a quality train,” she added.
The woman also affirmed that she is waiting for the Incofer to expand its services and offer greater diversity in travel schedules, now that it has eight new units
Some showed surprise when they noticed that the chairs were placed on the sides of the wagons, as is customary in the metros. Very different from the seat formation in older trains, similar to those of a bus, rows of seats facing forward.
The new seating arrangement provides for very wide aisles, which facilitates the movement of users entering or leaving the cars.
After a few minutes, the maiden voyage began at 6:30 pm as scheduled.
“Bienvenidos al servicio de tren en la ruta San José-Cartago. Tiempo estimado de viaje: 50 minutes (Welcome to the train service on the San José-Cartago route. Estimated travel time: 50 minutes),” was immediately heard over the speakers.
The passengers could not hide a smile behind their face masks when they heard the message, as a sign of approval of this new element in the trains. Every time the train approached the next stop, the loudspeakers announced it.
This was definitely one of the great novelties that caught the attention of the first passengers of the new units, which also reduce noise and environmental pollution, compared to the older locomotives.
These speakers work in tune with the LED screens that mark the route of the trip in real time, thanks to GPS.
The Incofer also took the opportunity to use the trains sound system to promote a safe service.
“Nuestros trenes son libres de acoso. En caso de que se presente un evento informar a nuestra tripulación (Our trains are harassment free. In case of an event, inform our crew)”, said one of the recordings.
Smartphones could be seen taking photos and videos of the moving train.
The two trains, each with two car, were not very full at the start, but in San Pedro and Curridabat, they took on many more travelers.
The Units are numbered 3121-3171 and 3122-3172
Please, let’s take care of our new trains
Doña Ana Mayela, one of the riders on Monday, asked for all to take care of the new machines, both of the users of the service and the drivers who come across the units at the railroad crossings.
“Ah, this is something else entirely! Hopefully, we take care of it, that it stays clean, that it is not damaged, that the roads are improved very well so that it does not tip over or get stranded,” she said.