Rico’s TICO BULL – If this wasn’t so sad I would be laughing. After investing millions of dollars for eight new ultra-modern (for Costa Rica) trains, months of preparation, and retrofitting tracks and stations, it appears no one bothered to look up.
Yes, up, like in the overhead wiring that is part of the Greater Metropolitan Area (GAM) landscape from Alajuela to Cartago.
It appears that now that the trains are in Costa Rica, they have been positioned on the tracks and with Chinese and German technicians working along with Incofer (railway) employees, it has been discovered the train will no clear overhead power lines on at least four points in the GAM.
Elizabeth Briceño, executive president of Incofer, explained that in previous tours carried out months ago they did not identify these types of problems. Yes, nobody decided to look up.
The Incofer exec, in true Tico fashion, redirected the blame to “the situation changed to additional cabling that was added recently.”
Do you buy it? I don’t.
Briceño blames the Compañía Nacional de Fuerza y Luz (CNFL) – an ICE subsidiary, the Administrative Board of the Municipal Electric Service of Cartago (Jasec) and Public Services Company of Heredia (ESPH).
The railway chief said they had been coordinating and in their preliminary tours there was not height problem.
“The train passes, but the power lines are very low,” said the Briceño.
The Incofer’s plan is to put the new trains manufactured in China, at a cost of US$32 million dollars, into operation in April after completing the tests.
So, don’t be surprised any time soon as you are out and about and see comical scenes like in the photo, railway workers pulling up on power lines to allow the train to pass.
And if you think you’ll miss it all, not to worry, it takes a long time, a very long time, to coordinate any action to make a change to the overhead cables.