Friends of Latin American Railways

News

31.12.2017

Mexico

Guadalajara – Manzanillo

Ferromex plan to close its 355 km-long Guadalajara – Manzanillo line, as the 500 containers per month carried on behalf of Maersk are not sufficient to make operation of the line economically viable. There is a potential of other freight (petroleum products from Pemex, construction material, agricultural products), but they are not using the rail mode.
(Source: Ferromex, various local newspapers)

Tequila Express

Ferromex have completed refurbishment of its „Tequila Express“ tourist train; this included repainting of locomotives in two shades of grey. It is expected that the train will run again regularly within the next few months, although no exact starting date has been given as yet.
The locomotives of the Chepe (Chihuahua – Los Mochis) have been repainted in the same manner.
As Ferromex informs, operation of its passenger trains between Chihuahua and Los Mochis suffers frequent disruption on the Creel – Chihuahua section due to civil unrest in the Chihuahua and Cuauhtémoc regions. Passengers will travel on bus substitution services, provided the roads are not blocked.
(Source: Ferromex; Tequila Express)

Uruguay

Paysandú

In conjunction with the refurbishment of Paysandú harbour on the Uruguay river, plans have leaked regarding the reconstruction of a short railway line linking Paysandú Norte and the port. This would prevent an increase of lorry traffic through the city.
(Source: Trenes del Uruguay)

Passenger traffic

State railway AFE have purchased the last available Y1 railcars from Sweden. There is a total of 7 railcars, of which six feature Fiat engines and one a Volvo engine. Only six railcars are in operational condition, the remaining one being acquired as a source of spare parts. The railcars, formerly operating in the Swedish Värmland province on regional services, have been reported in December 2016 as being prepared for their transport to Uruguay; it is, however, not yet known when exactly they will be shipped. With these units, AFE plan to enhance its current local traffic between Montevideo, Progreso and 25 de Agosto, and it is also envisaged to resume operations on the Montevideo – Victor Sudriers line. There is, on top of this, some talk about re-introducing regular passenger service between Montevideo and San Ramón.
(Source: Trenes del Uruguay)

Venezuela

Barquisimeto - Yaritagua

Construction of a further bridge between Barquisimeto and Yaritagua puts off reopening of the entire line to traffic for at least one more year. Some sections of the line have, however, been made available for the haulage of grains; thereby using Chinese locomotives and wagons.
(Source: IFE)

Caracas – Tuy Medio

During the Christmas holiday period, state railway IFE carried out extensive repair work on the Caracas – Tuy Medio suburban railway. All tracks were integrally cleaned and repaired and, with the help of Charallave municipality, the stations were deep cleaned and got a spruce-up (new lightning, green areas).
(Source: IFE)

Cúa – Puerto Cabellos

Construction work on the new line Cúa – Puerto Cabellos has been resumed after a long interruption. At the end of 2016, track was being laid between Cagua and Mariara in the Maracay area, and over 70'000 cubic metres of ballast were also brought out. At the same time, work on the Cagua and Mariara stations continued. Both of them were fitted with toilet facilities, and operational spaces were completed.
(Source: IFE)

Yaritagua – Acarígua

In December 2016, all sets of points were changed on the Yaritagua – Acarígua line, which means that the core work required to reopening this branch line to traffic is complete.
(Source: IFE)

31.12.2016

Argentina

Buenos Aires – Mar del Plata

Operation of the Buenos Aires – Mar del Plata corridor still hasn't resumed, although this was announced for December 2016. More than 30 trial runs took place, as it appears without major problems; and at this time it is still unknown what prevents the line from going in service.
(Source: El Reportero Ferroviario; Misdiasenlavía, La Razón de Chivilcoy)

Buenos Aires Once – Bragado

Reconstruction work on the La Clarita and Río Salado bridges near Chivilcoy is due to be completed shortly. Local authorities along the line are campaigning for an immediate re-opening to passenger traffic between Buenos Aires and at least Bragado once work has finished.
(Source: El Reportero Ferroviario; Misdiasenlavía, La Razón de Chivilcoy)

Railway station Saavedra

The municipality of Saavedra (in the southwest of Buenos Aires province) has, along with a numerous squad of volunteers, started refurbishment of their railway station. This happens to emphasise the request to re-introduce a stop at Saavedra to the weekly Buenos Aires – Bahía Blanca train, as after the closure of Ferrobaires in mid-2016 no stops are provided anymore at Saavedra.
(Source: El Reportero Ferroviario; Misdiasenlavía, La Razón de Chivilcoy)

New Freight Wagons

Scores of new freight wagons manufactured in China were received at the port of Buenos Aires during November and December 2016, featuring vehicles for all three track gauges. So far, more than 2000 wagons have been delivered, including container flats, gondolas, hoppers, tank cars and others.
(Source: Misdiasenlavía)

Buenos Aires – Bahía Blanca

The Ministry of Transport and the operator SOFSE have announced during the first weeks of 2017 that they intend to increase the frequency of the Buenos Aires – Bahía Blanca train from one to three round-trips per week.
(Source: SOFSE)

Suburban lines of Buenos Aires

The Minister for Transport, Mr Dietrich, announced the procurement of a further 174 Electric Multiple Units for the suburban lines of Buenos Aires. At this time, it is not yet clear whether these trains will be manufactured in China. The communication just mentions that they should be similar to those currently in operation on the Mitre and Sarmiento lines (and those are, as everybody knows, from China).
(Source: Misdiasenlavía)

Jujuy – La Quiaca

Jujuy province has been granted funding to the tune of ARP 10m from the federal government towards the reconstruction of a section of the Jujuy – La Quiaca route. It is planned to rebuild a stretch of line in the Quebrada de Humahuaca. Included in this work is a competition for refurbishment of the stations along the route.
(Source: Jujuy on line)

São Paulo – Argentinien

Freight operator Rumo (formerly known as ALL Logística) has announced that they will cease to serve the Customs facilities at Santana do Livramento and Uruguaiana, which would effectively mean the end of international freight traffic. Various freight customers who ship a total of over 25'000 containers per year via the São Paulo – Argentina corridor have lodged a protest with the National Authority for Land Transport (ANTT). As the public administration is in an ongoing process of downsizing, ANTT are not in a position to intervene in favor of re-opening those Customs facilities.
(Source: Revista Ferroviária)

Brazil

São Paulo – Argentinien

Freight operator Rumo (formerly known as ALL Logística) has announced that they will cease to serve the Customs facilities at Santana do Livramento and Uruguaiana, which would effectively mean the end of international freight traffic. Various freight customers who ship a total of over 25'000 containers per year via the São Paulo – Argentina corridor have lodged a protest with the National Authority for Land Transport (ANTT). As the public administration is in an ongoing process of downsizing, ANTT are not in a position to intervene in favor of re-opening those Customs facilities.
(Source: Revista Ferroviária)

Old Rolling Stock

ANTT, the National Authority for Land Transport, have issued a resolution which authorises the private freight railway concessionaires to scrap all vehicles that are surplus to requirements. Most of this stock had been taken over from the former state railway RFFSA. Any funds generated by this sale are supposed to be used for the rehabilitation of track infrastructure.
(Source: Revista Ferroviária)

Chile

Rancagua Express

Test runs with the new Alstom EMU trains of the „Rancagua Express“ are due to start in February. Refurbishment and rehabilitation work on the line are nearly complete. In the town of Graneros, eight level crossings will not be replaced by overbridges due to lack of funding, but will be protected by locally operated mechanical barriers.
(Source: EFE)

Colombia

Again freight traffic after 20 years

On 17 October 2016, after a lull of almost exactly 20 years, a freight train arrived at La Dorada station, 769 km inland from the port of Santa Marta. It was a trial train over the full length of the line. Some 522 km of it – between Chiriguaná and La Dorada – have been rehabilitated by the national infrastructure authority ANI through a contract of public works. Major intervention was required at 44 spots along the line. Operated by Holdtrade Atlántico, a joint venture of Holdtrade (UK) Ltd. of London and Iowa Pacific Holdings of Chicago, the train carried a load of containers to the centre of the country, while for the return journey 10 wagons with containers and a further 19 wagons with cement, steel and coils were ready to make their way to the port.
Along with the lines to the northeast of Bogotá, ANI have rehabilitated some 1000 km of railway lines within a relatively short period of time and brought them to operational condition.
(Source: El Tiempo and other local newspapers)

El Salvador

San Salvador – Apopa

According to CEPA, parent entity of the Fenadesal state railway, suburban traffic over 8 km from San Salvador to Apopa could be re-instated. The line is frequently being inspected by permanent way staff using a track car, and repairs are carried out as required. A few diesel locomotives are serviceable and carry visitors in one or two passenger carriages on the premises of the San Salvador workshops.
(Source: CEPA)

Electric regional Railways

The Spanish project for electric regional railways appears to grow in size as a line towards the east to San Miguel is also on the cards, in addition to the line to Armenia and Sonsonate.
(Source: various private sightings)

Jamaica

Hope for re-introduction of passenger traffic

There is hope for re-introduction of passenger traffic on this railway. The firm Herzog International from the USA have started rehabilitation and rebuilding of the Kingston to Spanish Town line. The continuation from Spanish Town to Linstead is already in operational condition; it had been used by passenger trains in 2011 and 2012. Current negotiations between Herzog International and the government envisage reaching an agreement according to which Herzog would rebuild the line and, in exchange, would be authorised to operate freight trains free of charge. They would also be paid a minor subsidy (a few 100k US$ per year) by the government for operating passenger trains. On top of this, Herzog International will rehabilitate a further 180 km of railway lines which means they could run freight trains on some 2/3 of the country's railway network.
Authorities have begun to remove squatter settlements on railway premises in the area of the capital city, Kingston. Some 2000 persons need relocated.
(Source: Jamaica Gleaner)

Mexico

Avoiding line at Monterrey

Construction of an avoiding line for freight trains has begun at Monterrey. Once completed, the current track alignment will be made available to the city for the expansion of the urban (public transport) rail system.
(Source: Mexlist)

Avoiding line at Celaya

Also at Celaya, an avoiding line is under construction. Allegedly, too many goods were stolen from trains when they passed the urban perimeter. As at Monterrey, these works are in great part funded by the state.
(Source: Ferromex)

20.12.2016

Argentina

Buenos Aires - Mar del Plata

Reintroducing of Buenos Aires - Chascomús - Mar del Plata passenger services may again be delayed and can be postponed to January or February 2017. Exact reasons are not known, but apparently the authorities are detecting further irregularities on the tracks.
(Source: Volta o Trem 20-7)

Neuquén - Cipolletti

Timings of this service have changed and there was a slight reduction of services. Mid december a road bridge collapsed between the two cities causing an extraordinary demand on the train. But no additional services have been put into service with the result that the few trips have been such overloaded that the door system of the railcars was blocked and many passengers couldn?t been conveyed at all.
(Source: Volta o Trem 20-7)

La Trochita

In Rio Negro Province a special service will run over part of the well known narrow gauge on 21 January 2017! First a trip by diesel railcar from San Carlos de Bariloche dep. 07.00 to Ing. G. Jacobacci. At Jacobacci a Steam train will make the connection to Ojos de Agua (km 47 on the narrow gauge line) The return journey will commence the same day at 16.30 from Ojos de Agua with an arrival at San Carlos de Bariloche at 22.00, prices start at ARP 2582, Operator Tren Patagonico.
(Source: Volta o Trem 20-7)

Brazil

Transnordestina

The government wants to terminate construction works on the Transnordestina project. Thus it will invest several BRR 430million over the next two years. The Transnordestina comprises 1728 km of new broad gauge lines from the ports of Suape (near Recife) and Pecém (near Fortaleza) to Eliseu Martins in Piauí state. Great sections of lines are complete and on others construction has even not started.
(Source: Volta o Trem 20-7)

Salvador

The decision has been taken to convert the suburban train from Salvador Calçada station to Paripe into a modern tramway line with 21 intermediate stops.
(Source: Volta o Trem 20-7)

São Paulo

The government of São Paulo state took the decision to call for tenders for a public-private partnership to finance the project of regional intercity train lines around São Paulo to Campinas, Mogi das Cruzes and beyound, Sorocaba and Santos, during 2017. The state alone can’t finance the entire project. The first line may open over a distance of 135 km from São Paulo to Jundiaí, Campinas and Americana.
(Source: Volta o Trem 20-7)

João Pessoa

In December 2016 the João Pessoa suburban train operator CBTU got the fourth of the eight new DMU built by Bom Sinal. During 2017 and early 2018 the remaining 4 may also been delivered. Until 2018 the entire 30 km long line from Santa Rita through João Pessoa to Cabdelo will be completely refurbished, including all 12 stations and construction of 4 additional stations and double track sections to increase frequencies from about every 60 min. to about every 20 mins.
(Source: Volta o Trem 20-7)

Chile

Historic train to Laraquete 

November 26, 2016 the Historic train to Laraquete was running for the first time from Concepción to Laraquete near Lota on the line South of Coronel, todays terminal of the southern line of Biotren suburban services. It was the first passenger train since 1977 running South of Coronel. The train was very exciting and within 24 hours only all 350 seats have been sold. This steam train may run again for special dates during 2017, again with steam locomotive 820 (built in the USA in 1940 and normally stored at Temuco).
(Source: Volta o Trem 20-7)

Colombia

Testtrain Santa Marta - La Dorada

After a successful run of the first freight train between Santa Marta and La Dorada (767 km) through the Magdalena River Valley, the National Infrastructure Administration ANI has found that there are still some sections of the line which need more technical attention and repairs will now be carried out. But freight services may already start now. After a long strike of truck drivers all over Colombia the government realized the value of functioning railways and waterways.
(Source: Volta o Trem 20-7)

Cuba

Reduction of Relations.

The national long-distance trains from Habana to Santiago de Cuba, Bayamo and Guantánamo are operating new ever fourth daily and no longer every third day.
(Source: Volta o Trem 20-7)

Peru

Central Raylway

The Central Railway announced the running days for 2017 for the tourist train Lima - Huancayo. Journey about 12 hours. Departure at 7:00.
Departures at Lima: April 13, April 28, May 25, June 16, June 29, July 28, August 10, August 27, September 14, October 05, October 29, November 23.
Departures at Huancayo: April 16, May 01, May 28, June 18, July 02, July 30, Aubust 13, August 30, September 17, October 08, November 01, November 26.
(Source: Volta o Trem 20-7)

Ferrocarril Huancayo-Huancavelia

November 2016 the journey time was reduced from about 6 hours to 5 hours 30 min.
(Source: Volta o Trem 20-7)

Venezuela

Puerto Cabello - La Encrucijada

After payment of a large quantity of debts (over 1,4bi of US$) from the years 2003 to 2013 caused by construction of the new 128,8 km long railway between Puerto Cabello and La Encrucijada, construction work could be reiniciated mid 2016. The line is more than 50% complete, but an opening date was not mentioned.
(Source: Volta o Trem 20-7)

08.10.2016

Argentina

Fire in DMU in Santiago del Estero

Two days after inauguration of the city railway of Santiago del Estero, the Tecnotren DMU caught fire because of a short circuit. This event is discouraging many people to use the new train.
(Source: Volta o Trem 20-6)

Increased Pressure against the Government 

The Argentine public increases pressure against the government to reinstate passenger trains. The communities between Buenos Aires and 25 de Mayo initiated a petition in this sense, like as the inhabitants of Brandsen and Rio Negro province wants the rehabilitation of a direct passenger train service between Buenos Aires and San Carlos de Bariloche. Meanwhile the government hopes to have the line to Mar del Plata ready for passenger trains in January 2017.
(Source: Volta o Trem 20-6)

No more long-distance Trains

In a press statement of 6 October 2016 the Argentine government stressed that no new long-distance passenger trains may be put into operation. Even the Ferrobaires services which have been suspended end June 2016 may not come back. Only the services to Rosario may be increased and those to Mar del Plata reinstated.
(Source: Volta o Trem 20-6)

Brazil

Extension of Tramway at Rio de Janeiro

During November 2016 a further section of the modern Tramway at Rio de Janeiro will commence operation between Praça Quinze and Praça da República. Tracks are already completed, just some works on the stations must be done.
(Source: Volta o Trem 20-6)

Transnordestina

The Transnordestina Railway from Suape and Pecém to Salgueiro and Eliseu Martins may now be completed by the state since the private consortium isn’t able to do it without further public funds. The federal government wants first to complete the line between Suape and Eliseu martins, followed by the line to Pecém. The original project was established to complete the entire railway in 2010. Currently only 55% of the tracks have been laid.
(Source: Volta o Trem 20-6)

Amapá Railway

Amapá state took over the Amapá Railway to rehabilitate it with public funds, later the railway may be operated by a private concessionaire.
(Source: Volta o Trem 20-6)

Peru

Rehabilitation Lima - Huancayo completed

In September 2016 rehabilitation of 170 km of tracks of the Central Railway between Lima and Huancayo have been completed. As a further measure to improve operations the zig-zags should be replaced by helicoidal tunnels. This could even be financed by the railway itself.
(Source: Volta o Trem 20-6)

30.09.2016

Argentina

Refurbishment Infrastructure

Various sources have now confirmed that refurbishment work on the Buenos Aires – Rosario and Buenos Aires – Mar del Plata lines has resumed. The Ministry of Transport is also expecting major progress until the end of 2016 and it is envisaged to resume train operations between Buenos Aires and Mar del Plata for the upcoming summer season (January 2017 at the latest). It is also planned to reduce travel time between Buenos Aires and Rosario from 7 to 5 hours.
(Source: ARAR and private observers)

Rolling Stock of Casimiro

The company Don Casimiro, operator of the international train Posadas – Encarnación (Paraguay) appears to have taken over the remaining 20 Wadloper railcars which belonged to TBA. At the end of September they were transferred by low-loader vehicles from Pilar and other locations to Zárate. News from Argentina suggest that the railcars will be brought to Encarnación in order to be refurbished and overhauled. At present it is unknown where they will be used, but as Don Casimiro is interested in operating the suburban line from Posadas to Garupá on behalf of Trenes Argentinos, it is thinkable that some of the railcars will be used for this.
(Source: Crónica Ferroviaria)

Technical Problems at Tecnotren

The mechanical issues of the Tecnotren railbus used to cover the urban traffic at Santa Fé seem to be resolved only partly. Although some parts for the power unit could be sourced, the derailments continue. As track repairs have been carried out, it appears that the vehicle itself is the reason for the problem. However, the train runs as often as possible.
(Source: El Litoral)

Line Closuers

Yet another round of line closures happened on 28 July 2016, and this time it was the state railway who surprisingly cancelled all trains between Buenos Aires Plaza Constitución and Chascomús, without previous notice. Depending of the weekday, there were up to 12 round-trips on this 114 km-long line. Presumably, this was a consequence of the closure of Ferrobaires, as the line Buenos Aires – Chascomús – Mar del Plata is concessioned to Buenos Aires province with the infrastructure operated by Ferrobaires. Voices in Chascomús claim, however, that bus operators heavily pressurised Transport Minister Dietrich, because the trains were very popular and the number of bus passengers plummeted by over 80%. This doesn't come as a surprise, as a return ticket in tourist (i.e. Standard) class came at 100 Pesos, while the cheapest bus connections were priced at 200 Pesos for a single ticket and most of them actually charging 300 Pesos.
(Source: Fahrplancenter News; Trenes Argentinos)

Brazil

Politics

The new federal government of president Michel Temer has announced that it will opt exclusively for privately financed projects to expand the railway network. This appears to provide higher profits to the private sector. This affects the following projects:
Extension of the Norte-Sul beyond Anápolis southbound to Estrela d'Oeste in São Paulo state, where construction is at a very advanced stage. About 90% of the 700 km have already been completed.
Construction of a new coast railway line from Rio de Janeiro via Campos to Vitória. About 30% of the old line between Campos and Visconde do Itapemirim should be reused for this, but the cities of Macaé and Campos will be avoided with new alignments. After ANTT lifted the bann for building new level crossings and the minimum radius was reduced from 500 to 350 metres, construction costs for this about 600 km long line could be reduced from nearly BRR 8 billion to under BRR 6 billion.
Construction of the Ferrogrão railway (grain railway) from Miritituba on the Rio Tapajós in eastern Amazonia to Sinop in the centre of Mato Grosso state with a length of 933 km. According to budget (2016 figures) this should cost some BRR 12,6 billion.
In addition to this, the core lines through São Paulo state will be reconcessioned, and the new operator will be obliged to refurbish the lines from Santos to Santa Fé do Sul, Panorama and Barretos, to build avoiding lines around densely populated areas and to resume operations on the currently closed lines Baurú – Panorama and Araraquara – Barretos.

(Source: Revista Ferroviária)

Statistics

A new list of the operational railway network of Brazil reveals that the freight train concessionaires ceased to operate numerous lines (as of 2015/2016).
Transnordestina lists the lines Recife – Itabaiana – João Pessoa – Natal – Macau, Recife – Salgueiro and Recife – Lourenço de Albuquerque – Colegio as „out of use“, and it has to be stressed that track conditions make it impossible to use the sections João Pessoa (actually Paula Cavalcanti) to Parnamirim, Ceará Mirim to Macau and Recife to Salgueiro. The line between Recife and Colegio has some sections that were destroyed by flooding with repair/rehabilitation work still pending.
On the network of Ferrovia Centro Atlântico/VLI, the following lines are out of use: Magé (near Rio de Janeiro) – Campos – Recreio, Tres Rios – Recreio – Cataguazes – Ponte Nova – Miguel Burnier, Corinto – Pirapora, Barra Mansa – Angra dos Reis and Aracajú – Colegio, while no trains have been running between São Francisco (Bahía) and Aracajú at least since 2013.
After the amalgamation of ALL and Rumo and the subsequent rebranding to „Rumo“, a veritable „demolition“ took place on the southern network. During the mentioned period or part of it, the following lines included in the concession weren't operated: Baurú – Indubrasil – Corumbá, Baurú – Panorama, Araraquara – Colômbia, Riberão Preto – São Sebastião do Paraíso, Santos – Juquiá, Ourinhos – Jaguariaíva, Mafra – Porto União da Vitória – Passo Fundo, Dilermando de Aguiar – Santiago – São Borja, Santiago – Santo Angelo and Cacequí – Santana do Livramento.
Various statistics confirm that never since nationalisation and the following reprivatisation there have been so few lines in operation.

(Source: Revista Ferroviária)

Tonnages of Rail Fright

Despite a challenging economic climate, rail freight tonnages have increased by almost 8% during the first six months of 2016. Only the Ferrovía Teresa Cristina and Rumo Sul (lines south of São Paulo) networks registered a fall of about 11% each.
(Source: Revista Ferroviária and ANTT)

Refurbishment flat Wagons

VLI had 214 flat wagons refurbished at a cost of about BRR 6 mio. These will be used to haul Eucalyptus wood from Sete Lagoas in Minas Gerais state to Aracruz in Espírito Santo state for further processing. During the next 5 years, some 2 mio cubic metres of timber will be carried over this 700 km long line, which will remove around 100 daily lorry journeys from the roads connecting the two federal states.
(Source: Revista Ferroviária)

Parangaba - Mucuripe 

Test runs between Montese and Borges de Melo stations on the modern urban railway Parangaba - Mucuripe started on 27 September 2016. Metrofor (Fortaleza) have completed this 3,6 km long stretch, and the test runs will also serve crew training purposes for both driving and maintenance staff. During a few hours, the runs are open to the public in order to get local residents used to the new means of transport. The line with an overall length of 13,4 km is still under construcion. Operations were originally expected to start in 2013, but a huge number of appeals from local landowners ensuing in substantially increased administrative costs brought the construction work to a standstill in 2013. Only after new funding could be sourced and the land issues solved, work was resumed in mid-2015. The government of Ceará state expects completion of the entire line during 2018.
(Source: ANPTrilhos)

Detran - Rodoviária

On 30 September 2016, Metro Salvador started trial runs on the 1,5 km long section Detran - Rodoviária. According to Metro Salvador, construction of line 2 is following the set timescales. Work on this started in February 2015, and at the initially mentioned date, 69% of the entire line had been completed. It is expected to open the line to the airport in the second half of 2017.
(Source: Folha Geral Bahia)

Suburban Traffic

In mid-August, City Minister Bruno Araújo announced at Recife that funding for a further CBTU suburban line has been approved. This will be an 11 km long line from Ponte dos Carvalhos via Ipojuca to Suape, double-track and with diesel traction. Trains will connect at Cajueiro Seco with the existing electric Metro from Recife and the diesel-operated line from Curado and then use the line to Cabo until Ponte dos Carvalhos. Suape is the most important port of Pernambuco state with more than 100 big firms in the harbour estate. Bus lines in the area are saturated and unable to cope with demand for quite some time already. Bom Sinal will probably supply diesel multiple units for this line. Construction of the second line from Cajueiro Seco to Cabo has already started on some sections, and this simplifies implementation of the project. South of Ponte dos Carvalhos, the alignment of the currently closed and partly dismantled metre-gauge line will be used which will shorten construction time to 2 years. The metre-gauge line to Suape was closed in light of the envisaged broad-gauge Transnordestina railway. As the opening of the Transnordestina is a long way off, the new suburban railway line may be used during night time for freight traffic in order to move goods from shippers in Recife to the port and vice-versa. During an initial period, trains will run every 12 minutes during the week, allowing to carry at least 3000 passengers per hour and direction.
(Source: Fahrplancenter News; CBTU)

Sunday Operations at CBTU

CBTU Natal introduced Sunday operations in Mid-2016. This decision was taken after some Sunday runs during 2014 and 2015 proved to be very popular among users. Between Natal and Ceará Mirim there are now 6 round-trips Monday to Friday, 4 on Saturdays and 2 on Sundays. On the south line Natal - Parnamirim there are 7 round-trips Monday to Friday (with an additional round-trip on Wednesdays), 4 on Saturdays and 2 on Sundays. All services are now operated by modern Diesel units from Bom Sinal.
(Source: CBTU)

New Tourist Railways

A few new tourist railway projects have good chances to become reality within the next 12 to 18 months, and they include not just short-haul journeys.
Regular railcar traffic between Miguel Pereira and Governador Portela will begin before the end of 2016. This has been delayed by some snagging work after spot checks by the land transport authority ANTT detected some shortcomings. Several level crossing require better signalisation, there is one spot where intruders occupy the track, and there are a few minor works to be carried out at both stations. Local authorities are supervising the works closely in order to get the operating licence as soon as possible. The line has been regauged from 1000 mm to 1600 mm, and a Budd diesel railcar will operate.
There is significant progress on the project of operating one or even more trains on the 180 km long route from Cataguazes (Minas Gerais) via Leopoldina, Recreio, Volta Grande and Além Paraíba to Três Rios (Rio de Janeiro). This line has been used until recently by VLI for the transport of bauxite and is in operational condition. Only a few repairs to the infrastructure are required. The NGO ?Amigos do Trem? has been designated by ANTT as operator of the line; they have support from VLI and the state infrastructure authority DNIT. Two diesel locomotives were ceded to the operator by DNIT, while VLI will look after these and train driving staff. Six passenger carriages were also ceded by DNIT. The two locomotives were fully overhauled and rehabilitated during August and September 2016 in the VLI workshops at Lavras. Amigos do Trem evisage operating the first trains around the turn of 2016/2017. It appears that trains will be operated on sections of the line, the talk is about one train between Três Rios and Além Paraíba while another train would operate from Cataguazes. All municipalities along the lines are fully committed to the endeavour.
In Lavras (South of Minas Gerais state), the railway operator Circuito Ferroviario Vale Verde (CFVV) has been established. The project is supported by the city of Lavras, some other municipalities and VLI. CFVV received five diesel locomotives, three passenger carriages and a railcar. Tourist trains are to run over 122 km from Lavras to Tres Corações, a line which sees freight trains from VLI on weekdays and is, therefore, in a fairly good condition. Just a few passenger facilities at stations need rehabilitated; this had been done at Lavras in 2012 when some test runs operated. As soon as the track access agreement with VLI is signed, CFVV hopes to receive authorisation from ANTT for regular train operations during the first months of 2017.
A good distance further south, Serra Verde Express Ltda. is currently working with Rumo in order to get track access for regular trains between Curitiba and Lapa. A few special runs took place in the past over this 90 km long line stretching west from Curitiba via Engenheiro Bley. DNIT has ceded the Lapa railway station to the municipality, who are currently refurbishing the station with the help of a resident army battalion for the amount of BRR 250'000. Serra Verde Express possess enough vehicles to cover services on this line.
In the city of Belo Horizonte there are two widely progressed projects, both of them in cooperation with Amigos do Trem. In this case, the freight train concessionaire still opposes the use of its lines, but the city of Belo Horizonte has indicated that they are willing to cover legal fees should there be no agreement with MRS Logística.

(Source: Revista Ferroviária, Fahrplancenter News)

Chile

News Railway to Batuco

The state railway EFE has started proceedings to obtain a concession for building and operating a suburban railway line to Batuco, north of Santiago. The 27,1 km long line will have 6 stations and use the alignment of the existing railway. This would limit construction costs to about US $ 560 mio. It is, however, still not clear whether the line will start at the current terminus Alameda and use the tunnel towards the north or whether a new terminus will be built next to the old (northern) terminus Mapocho. Both options are reported in the Chilean media.
(Source: La Tercera)

Cuba

Cowork with Russia

Russia and Cuba signed a cooperation agreement on 26 September 2016 which will have an impact on railway matters. Cuban railway employees are already in Russia to be inducted in the common projects. As a first step, 75 diesel locomotives of the TGM class will be overhauled in Cuba, whereby key parts will be replaced, leading to almost new locomotives. The existing locomotives of the TEM class will be similarly refurbished at Camagüey, and a number of locomotives of that same class will be supplied by Russia. Second-hand diesel railcars and passenger carriages will also be supplied by Russia after their conversion to standard gauge. Production of the cuban-made Taino passenger carriages will resume at Caibarien, under Russian supervision.
It is planned to upgrade the suburban lines of La Habana to a proper suburban system; several railway companies offered their services and wish to participate in that endeavour. Apart of the Russian RZD, the French SNCF, Spanish Renfe and the British West Coast Railway have been mentioned as interested parties.
The supply of brand-new Chinese passenger carriages for long-distance trains is a matter of fact; production of that fleet seems to have started in China.

(Source: Sputnik (Russia))

Mexico

Mexiko DF - Toluca

According to Mexican press reports from August 2016, 33,1% of the infrastructure of the 58 km long new railway line Mexico DF - Toluca have been completed with work progressing as planned. The first 5-car trains of the fleet (30 trains) are also under construction. Pillars have been erected on long stretches of the future alignment, as the railway will partly be built on viaducts. On the other hand, costs have virtually exploded from MX$ 7,112 billion to MX$ 17,84 billion, but the Finance Ministry has approved additional funding to cover the costs.
The project now includes a direct link to Toluca airport at Tecnológico station, for which the trains will feature storage room for luggage. This should make it possible for air passengers to check-in directly at the railway stations. Operation of the line should start in April 2018. Standard frequency will be a train every 10 minutes, increased to 2.5 minutes with double units during peak periods. Daily capacity is expected to be 230'000 passengers.

(Source: T21MX)

21.08.2016

Argentina

Suspensions

June 30, 2016 Ferrobaires suspended all long-distance passenger trains within the province of Buenos Aires. The services which have been suspended « until further notice » are: Buenos Aires – Bahía Blanca (via Pigüé and via Pringles) Buenos Aires – Tandil – Vela, Temperley – 25 de Mayo, Mechita – Bragado – Olascoaga and Buenos Aires – Junín – Alberdí. The provincial government hopes that the federal state may take these services over.
(Source: Volta o Trem 20-5)

Trenes Argentinos

State Railways Nuevos Ferrocarriles Argentinos/SOFSE have been again renamed to Trenes Argentinos.
(Source: Volta o Trem 20-5)

General La Madrid

Trenes Argentinos added a further stop at its Buenos Aires – Bahía Blanca train at General La Madrid.
(Source: Volta o Trem 20-5)

Suspension

For unknown reasons all passenger trains between Buenos Aires and Chascomús have been suspended on July 28, 2016.
(Source: Volta o Trem 20-5)

Tren a las Nubes 

Since July 9, 2016 Tren a las Nubes, the tourist train out of Salta is back and operates every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.
(Source: Volta o Trem 20-5)

Buenos Aires – Neuquén – Zapala

A representant from Neuquén presented the project to reintroduce a direct Buenos Aires – Neuquén – Zapala passenger train (like the former “Estrella del Valle” Express) and this was backed by deputees from Rio Negro. In a vote in the federal senate the plan passed with 40 yes and 11 no, so the government may be urged to implement the project.
(Source: Volta o Trem 20-5)

Brazil

Cajueiro Seco - Port of Suape

Despite austerity measures CBTU Recife got authorization to build a new 11 km long suburban railway from Cajueiro Seco to the Port of Suape. The new double track line will follow an existing alignment and connect to the Southern Metro Line at Cajueiro Seco. The line will operate with diesel multiple units.
(Source: Volta o Trem 20-5)

Chile

Railway bridge over Toltén River 

The great railway bridge over Toltén River near Pitrufquén (South of Temuco) collapsed August 18 2016 when a 50 wagon long freight train crossed it. Some wagons fell into the river, but no one was hurt. It is believed that the bridge suffered some light cracks after the earth-quake of 2010, investigations started immediately after the accident.
(Source: Volta o Trem 20-5)

Test runs

Test runs of the new Xtrapolis electric trains will start in December 2016 between Santiago, Nós and Rancagua and regular passenger services will start about in March 2017.
(Source: Volta o Trem 20-5)

Colombia

Bogotá - Belencito

After 4 years of rehabilitation of railway infrastructure Fenoco ran the first freight train between Bogotá and Belencito on July 22, 2016.
(Source: Volta o Trem 20-5)

Costa Rica

San José

Incofer got the o.k. to implement also passenger services on the suburban lines on Saturdays from September 2016 on, until now trains operate Monday to Friday only. Within the next 3 months some adjustments will be carried out on the network to increase the number of trains, to meet the great demand. With construction of a new airport at Orotina Incofer will also build a regional railway from San José to Orotina within 3 years. The extension of 7 km of the San José – Cartago line to Paraíso may be put into service before 2017.
(Source: Volta o Trem 20-5)

15.06.2016

Argentina

Augusta Victoria - Socompa - Salta

Ferronor of Chile reopened the line from Augusta Victoria (Chile) via Socompa to Salta (Argentina) in April 2016 for freight traffic. Though trains are only running irregularly and not very often.
(Source: Volta o Trem 20-4)

Paraná – Concepción and Basavilbaso – Villaguay

After several months without trains between Paraná and Concepción del Uruguay and Basavilbaso and Villaguay SOFSE/FA started to rehabilitate railcars and the tracks between Paraná and Concepción del Uruguay, the date for the resumption of traffic was not mentioned.
(Source: Volta o Trem 20-4)

Buenos Aires, Bragado - Provinz La Pampa

A few days ago reconstruction of the La Clarita Railway bridge West of Chivilcoy commenced. This bidge collapsed during the floods of August 2015. With this reconstruction train services from Buenos Aires to Bragado and La Pampa province will resume later this year.
(Source: Volta o Trem 20-4)

Wadloper railcars damaged

The Wadlopers railcars, which have been stored at Pilar station have been heavily damaged by arson, it is unclear if they will ever been rebuilt.
(Source: Volta o Trem 20-4)

Brazil

Baurú – Corumbá

ALL/Rumo ceased freight traffic between Baurú and Corumbá (1315 km) and wants to keep the line closed even against protests from the government. This measure brought also Trem do Pantanal to a halt.
(Source: Volta o Trem 20-4)

Japerí - Barra do Piraí

A local initiative from Rio de Janeiro wants to make pressure to reinstate the passenger train Barrinha Japerí – Barra do Piraí. This train would connect various towns along this line, which are relatively isolated without it. Unfortunately several former atempts to re-establish this train, which was suspended in 1996, failed.
(Source: Volta o Trem 20-4)

Chile

Tacna - Arica

May 27 the railway from Tacna (Peru) to Arica (Chile) was officially reinaugurated and three days later scheduled services started to run, again with a round-trip early morning and another one in the evening. Fares have been set at 18 New Soles, slightly over the fares for bus journeys. June 7 a technical failure on the railcar halted traffic for at least one day.
(Source: Volta o Trem 20-4)

Augusta Victoria - Socompa - Salta

Ferronor of Chile reopened the line from Augusta Victoria (Chile) via Socompa to Salta (Argentina) in April 2016 for freight traffic. Though trains are only running irregularly and not very often.
(Source: Volta o Trem 20-4)

Colombia

Bogotá Centro Comercial Gran Estación - Multiparque

Since 30 April 2016 Tren de la Sabana operates a second weekend train named MultiExpreso on weekends between Bogotá Centro Comercial Gran Estación (at Avenida El Dorado) and the Multiparque entertainment park.
(Source: Volta o Trem 20-4)

Peru

Huancayo - Huancavelica

After repairing the damages caused by a rock-slide at Km 85 of the Tren Macho line Huancayo - Huancavelica train services ressumed May 02, 2016.
(Source: Volta o Trem 20-4)

Puno - Cuzco

May 2017 will see the end of the train Andean Explorer Puno-Cuzco. It will be replaced by a luxury train Cuzco-Puno-Arequipa, which will run partly overnight.
(Source: Volta o Trem 20-4)

Huancayo - Huancavelica

Passenger fares for the Lima-Huancayo train have increased heavily for Peruvian and foreign passengers.
(Source: Volta o Trem 20-4)

Tacna - Arica

May 27 the railway from Tacna (Peru) to Arica (Chile) was officially reinaugurated and three days later scheduled services started to run, again with a round-trip early morning and another one in the evening. Fares have been set at 18 New Soles, slightly over the fares for bus journeys. June 7 a technical failure on the railcar halted traffic for at least one day.
(Source: Volta o Trem 20-4)

Uruguay

Piedra Sola – Algorta – Salto

Rehabilitation of the railway line Piedra Sola – Algorta – Salta is about to commence now.
(Source: Volta o Trem 20-4)

01.04.2016

Chile

Talca-Constitución

In time for the 100 year jubilee December 31, 2015 Chilean state president Michelle Bachelet visited the narrow gauge railway Talca-Constitución. She underlined the importance of this railway for the region and the nation and she promised to undertake every effort to which helps to maintain this line, which includes the acquisition of 2 or 3 new railbuses. Further-more she visited the reconstruction site at Talca station. Talca station was heavily damaged during the earthquake of 2010. Closure of this line could be prevented by protests from FLB/AIFFLA in 2001.
(Source: Volta o Trem 20-3)

Cuba

Railcars CB-10

Guantánamo and Bayamo got each some new CB-10 railcars and they could improve regional passenger services over some of their respective lines.
(Source: Volta o Trem 20-3)

Ecuador

Several Changes of Offers

State Railways FEEP changed some of their offer: Tren del Hielo Riobamba-Urbina has been withdrawn (the Urbina-Ambato section still runs), the locals between Durán and Yaguachi and the railcar between Tambo and Baños del Inca have also been withdrawn. There are two new offers. Every Saturday a train runs from Durán to Alausi, returning Sundays and Tuesday to Friday a train operates from Riobamba to Alausi and back with connections to from Sibambe ober the Devil’s Nose. Generally more loco-hauled trains are now operating than railcars.
(Source: Volta o Trem 20-3)

Peru

Huancayo - Huancavelica

A rock-slide interrupted the Tren Macho Line between Huancayo and Huancavelica at Km 85 between Mariscal Cáceres and Acoria over a length of 200 metres on February 10, 2016. According to press information the line may again be open with the next few days.
(Source: Volta o Trem 20-3)

31.03.2016

Argentina

Buenos Aires – Rosario

The unfinished remedial and relaying work on the Buenos Aires – Rosario main line resumed after a 9-month break. The first step is to replace the faulty (although newly laid!) concrete sleepers. There is some criticism about the fact that the works will continue with the same contractors and the same material as before the change of the federal government and it is expected that this will cause further problems. Construction work has resumed on a total of 94 km of line.
(Source: El Litoral)

Local traffic

According to local sources, the electrification of the suburban railway line to La Plata will suffer a delay of several months. However, electric trains started running between Buenos Aires (Plaza Constitución) and Quilmes in mid-February 2016. With some delay, electrification work has begun on the 7km-long section Quilmes – Berazateguí; poles carrying the overhead line were being put in place during March 2016. Official sources have confirmed that the remaining 29 km between Berazateguí and La Plata will see work commencing in the next weeks with a finishing date envisaged for the end of 2016. This is quite urgent as the bus substitution service is somewhat chaotic and insufficient.
(Source: El Día)

Neuquén - Cipolletti

Although the two Materfer railcars at Neuquén have been subject to frequent repairs, it appears to be impossible to operate them for a prolongued period. During some months now the trains were repeatedly cancelled, a fact that annoys customers and motivates them to revert to the bus in order to make their way from Neuquén to Cipolletti and vice-versa. Whether and when these problems can be solved is unknown.
(Source: La Mañana Neuquén)

Brazil

São Paulo

The new suburban railway line from São Paulo to the international airport Guarulhos will be open for traffic in 2019, suffering a delay of three years, according to a press release of the São Paulo government. Work initially started in 2013, but it was stopped in September of that same year because an additional lane widening the Ayrton Senna motorway was built at short notice. This, in turn, triggered wide-ranging changes to the design of the railway bridge across that motorway. With this, some 8.8 km of the 12,2 km-long double-track electrified broad gauge line (1600 mm/5ft 3') will run on viaducts, as also the Dutra motorway and the Rio Tieté have to be bridged. Also, federal government withheld a huge part of its funding because not all the land required could be acquired or vested until the end of 2015. Some work has, however, been carried out such as station improvements along the CPTM suburban line 12 from São Paulo Brás to the future junction at Engenheiro Goulart; and the detail planning and design work for Guarulhos-Cecap and Aeroporto stations has been finished. Eight 8-piece multiple units will be ordered for the new line. Some of the work carried out so far was funded by the Bank for Social Development BNDES. Funding from federal government is secure as this was pledged before the crisis and hasn't been cut. The delay in designing and building the line will increase the cost by at least BRR 51,2 mio to a total of about BRR 1,9 billion.
(Source: Veja.com, Revista Ferroviária)

São José do Rio Preto

The national authority for infrastructure DNIT has submitted plans to the city of São José do Rio Preto which outline
three options for the construction of avoiding lines skirting the city in order to close the existing railway line through the town centre. This line sees long and heavy freight trains daily. A few years ago a major accident occurred when a freight train derailed, crushing houses along the track and causing fatalities. The DNIT and the city are now assessing the plans. Funding would be provided by the federal government. A number of manned level crossings will also disappear once the avoiding line is built. The only negative point is that the tourist railcar to Engenheiro Schmitt would have its fate sealed when the railway line through the town is removed.
(Source: G1)

Brasília – Goiânia

The project to build a modern regional railway linking Brasília, Anápolis and Goiânia is news again. After a number of changes in its design, it has been trimmed down to a passenger-only railway but it is, however, intended that the railcars will also carry parcels. An integration of the planned regional railway Brasília – Luziânia into this project has been rejected; those trains will use the existing metre-gauge line as per the original design. Further branch lines were rejected, too, which brought the overall price tag for the Brasília – Goiânia line down to BRR 4,5 billion from over BRR 9 billion originally. Federal authorities have approved a split of cost in the following manner: 5% each of the three cities served, private investors (some 50%), federal government and Goiás state. Construction will be advertised during 2016.
(Source: Fahrplancenter News, Revista Ferroviária)

Estrada de Ferro do Amapá

Appeals from Zamin, the last concessionaire of the Estrada de Ferro do Amapá have repeatedly blocked attempts from the Amapá state to take over operation of passenger traffic on the Porto Santana – Serra do Návio line. There are reports that the lack of passenger trains is stirring civil unrest in settlements along the line. Zamin failed to comply with the terms of the concession contract and ceased operations in 2014 without previous notice.
(Source: Governo de Amapá)

High costs of road transport

As road haulage comes at a very high cost to the farming sector of the Santa Catarina state economy, the government has commissioned a study to assess whether transport of animal feed from their production centres in the Tocantins and Goiás states to Santa Catarina would be more economical by rail mode, as opposed to road transport. Initial estimates suggest a potential to reduce the transport cost per metric ton of grain by at least 10 to 15 Reais if the long haul was done by rail and only the distribution within Santa Catarina went on lorries. The proposed route would be Anápolis – Campinas – Mairink – Sorocaba – Iperó – Uvaranas – Engenheiro Bley – Mafra (some 2300 km) and then reach places along the Mafra – Lages and the Mafra - Porto União da Vitória lines. The study will also examine whether the freight train operators FCA and ALL have the capacities to handle this flow of freight and whether some sections of the route (Iperó – Uvaranas in particular) can bear with an additional tonnage of up to 3 Mio tons per year. If it is viable to move the freight by rail this would reduce the price of chicken meat for export up to 15%, while meat producers in Santa Catarina still would benefit from a higher income.
(Source: Canal Rural)

Urban Railway Cuiabá – Várzea Grande

Construction work on the urban railway Cuiabá – Várzea Grande was stopped in the second half-year 2015. Track alignment is about 35% complete, rails have been laid on 10% of the line, and all rolling stock is in situ. Mato Grosso state apparently had second thoughts as to whether the railway should be completed at all. An independent study by a private consultant has, however, demonstrated that completion would eventually pay out, as already BRR 1,066 billion have been spent. Most of the preliminary work like re-location of utilities (fresh water, sewage) has progressed, albeit slowly, and is nearing completion. To abandon the work wouldn't make sense as this would trigger a cost of BRR 532 million, whereas completion of the system would only cost 70 Mio more. Therefore, construction work in its entirety will resume before mid-2016.
(Source: Portal do Governo de Mato Grosso)

Tramway Fortaleza

Work on the new tramway line of Fortaleza which is to link the south metro line at Parangaba with the eastern suburb of Mucuripe and serving the 22 intermediate communities (an area accommodating some 500'000 people) had been started on time, but appeals, issues with land acquisition and the collapse of one of the contractors involved led to a stoppage of the works between mid-2014 and mid-2015. Construction was then resumed in July 2015 between the stations Iate and Borges de Melo, followed by the section Borges de Melo to Parangaba. The current economy crisis has prompted the infrastructure authority of Ceará state to re-activate the remaining sections to be built in order to create employment opportunities. All land acquisition matters have been solved in February 2016, and this cleared the way to complete construction of the tramway by the end of 2017.
(Source: G1 Ceará)

Tramway Rio de Janeiro

After an intensive period of testing, the first modern tramway line of Rio de Janeiro will begin operations during April 2016. This line links Rodoviária (Bus terminal) Novo Rio and the city airport Santos Dumont and will call at 18 stops en route, among others at the central railway station (also known as Dom Pedro II). The second stage of the system will open during the second half-year of 2016 and connect the ferryport. The line will operate 24/7, and a vast number of bus lines will be re-routed in order to connect with the new tram. The first 28 drivers have already completed their training on the 32 tram units, and training for another 40 drivers will start in March 2016. All the work is progressing at good pace as funding for the entire project, with the participation of the federal government, the city and private companies, had for once been organised very well and all bills during the construction period were paid on time. Total spend ascends to BRR 1,157 billlion, with funding from the PAC (Programme for acceleration of growth) to the tune of BRR 532 million. Despite the economic crisis, this money is currently available as it has been ringfenced since 2013.
(Source: G1 Rio de Janeiro, Revista Ferroviária)

Metro Rio de Janeiro

On 07 March 2016, the national bank for social development (BNDES) released another tranche of BRR 200 million for the construction of Rio de Janeiro's metro line 4. Work between Barra and Zona Sul is continuing at high pitch and it is hoped that this section of line with 5 stations can be completed until the Olympic Games. The remaining spend is about BRR 900 million, of which BRR 489 million will come from Rio de Janeiro state and the remainder from the federal government. Tracks are expected to be laid during May 2016, along with testing of electric systems. Test runs are due in June while stations will be completed; further test runs with passengers are to take place in July so that the timetable proposed for the olympic games can start immediately. Stations are: São Conrado, Jardim Oceânico, Jardim de Alá, Antero de Quental and Nossa Senhora da Paz.
Contrary to planning, the section to Gávea station will not be completed until at least 2017 as funding has not yet been secured. The tunnel boring machine will, however, continue its work in Gávea direction.
(Source: O Globo)

Chile

Concepción

On 29 February 2016, Ferrocarriles del Sur openend an extension of 17 km of its southern suburban line in the Concepción metropolitan area, linking Lomas Coloradas with Coronel. The line has been entirely renewed, upgraded to double track and electrified. Under the brand name „Biotren“ the line was opened in 2005 as far as Lomas Coloradas; it is now classed as Biotren Line 2, in difference to the Talcahuano – Concepción – Hualquí route which is now Biotren Line 1. Freight trains have always used this line, leading from Concepción to the port of Coronel and thereby crossing the Bio Bio river on a 2 km-long bridge. Later, the line skirts the Pacific Ocean coast for extended stretches. Planning and design work for a further extension of 10 km to Lota started the day after inauguration.
(Source: Fahrplancenter News; EFE/Ferrocarriles del Sur)

Talca – Constitución

On 31st December 2015, the Ramal (metre gauge line) Talca – Constitución celebrated its hundreth anniversary. To mark this event, state president Michelle Bachelet visited the railway in company of some ministers and other state representatives. She highlighted the importance of the 88 km long route for the local population, the Maule region and entire Chile. The visit of the state president started at the Talca railway station where she was shown the renovation and reconstruction work of the station building. That work commenced on 07 December 2015, after the building had suffered severe damage during the earthquake in February 2010. The president then travelled on board of a Buscarril (Ferrostaal railcar) to Curtiduria where she unveiled a commemorative plaque. During the course of the visit, persons from railway operations were introduced to her, among others the long-standing vendor of drinks and snacks, Mr. Guillermo Celedón.
The state president promised that she would keep working to maintain this branch line, and the general manager of the state railway EFE, Mr Jorge Inostroza, announced that still in 2016 renovation of Colín, Corinto and González Bastías stations would commence, as soon as financial support from the Maule region is granted. Also, EFE is currently preparing the tendering documents for the purchase of 2 or 3 new railcars for the line. A point was made that the old buscarriles will then be overhauled and refurbished in order to cater for the ever increasing tourist traffic.
(Source: Fahrplancenter News, EFE)

Cuba

Railcars CB-10

After many decades, Guantánamo province received new railcars at the beginning of March. These are four railcars of the CB-10 class two of them with a matching carriage each, all built under russian licence at Cárdenas. So far, identical vehicles have only been brought to the surrounding areas of La Habana. The new railcars came in operation on 15 March 2016, operating on the routes to Caimanera and Cuneira with a carriage while running solo to Boquerón. In addition, local traffic within the city of Guantánamo has resumed after it was halted during a year due to lack of vehicles. There is also a run on noon time to El Salvador. The lines to Caimanera, Cuneira and Boquerón see at least two pairs of trains daily each.
The last serviceable Taino Ligero railcars are operating on the routes to Honduras, Manuel Tames and Maquey as they are better suited to run on the weak infrastructure of these branch lines. All these trains, along with the every-two-days train Guantánamo – Holguín and the every-three-days national long-distance train Guantánamo – La Habana, make Guantánamo province being one of the more densely served provinces of Cuba in terms of rail traffic.
(Source: Venceremos)

In mid-March, three 2-piece railcars of the CB-10 class were delivered to Granma province, while a fourth single rail car to follow in the coming weeks. Two of the 2-piece units will cover the services Bayamo – Guamo – Rio Cauto (once daily) and run several times per day between Bayamo and Manzanillo. At this time it is still unclear whether the third unit will take over on the Bayamo – Bartolomé Maso route or whether the existing Taino Ligero railcar will keep operating there. The fourth railcar which is still due to arrive will cover the suburban services in the Mabay – Bayamo – Jiguani corridor. An open question is whether the loco-hauled local trains between Bayamo and Manzanillo will keep running after the introduction of the railcars; the railway company hasn't pronounced itself about the matter.
(Source: La Demajagua)

Ecuador

Railway traffic

The state railway FEEP is struggling with severe problems affecting their railbuses, the famous „Autoferros“. Only a few of these vehicles are currently in operation, and most traffic is covered by loco-hauled trains. This led to a change in the range of excursions on offer. The railbuses Tambo – Baños del Inca/Coyoctor and Riobamba – Urbina have been withdrawn. There is, however, a new loco-hauled train named „Tren de la Quinua“, covering one return trip Riobamba – Alausí Tuesday to Friday and establishing a direct connection at Alausí to a train over the famous „Devil's nose“ to Sibambe and vv. Quinua is a traditional cereal plant of the Andes area, and passengers will learn about the significance of that cereal. Another new offer is the „Costa – Sierra“ train, departing from Durán on Saturdays and travelling via the Devil's Nose to Alausí. The return trip runs on Sundays. These new trains are intended to cater for those tourists who don't wish to use the expensive „Tren Crucero“, and the fare seems to be accessible for a part of ecuadorian people, too.
Operations at Ibarra have also been tightened and reduced to one loco-hauled train from Otavalo via Ibarra to Salinas and vv. Friday to Sunday. This offer now covers both legs of the journey by train as it didn't prove to be popular travelling by bus in one direction.
The following trains also keep operating:
„Tren de los Volcanes“ Quito – Machachi – El Boliche and vv. Friday to Sunday, loco-hauled
„Tren del Hielo 2“ Ambato – Urbina and vv. Friday to Sunday, railbus „Autoferro“
„Tren de los Ancestros“, now renamed „Tren del Hielo 1“ Riobamba - Colta and vv. Saturday and Sunday, with mass visit at Colta, railbus „Autoferro“.
„Tren de la Dulzura“ Durán – Bucay and vv. Thursday to Sunday, loco-hauled.
(Source: Fahrplancenter News, FEEP)

Honduras

Infrastructure

The inter-american bank for development BID has pledged its support to a project from Honduras to build a 600 km-long railway across the country, linking the Atlantic with the Pacific coast. The price tag is US$ 10 billion and includes construction of two ports, one at each coast. The railway will also establish access to a number of regions in Honduras which are economically underdeveloped. Honduras hopes to successfully compete with other, similar projects in Nicaragua and Costa Rica.
Turkish companies appear to be very keen in participating in this project.
(Source: La Prensa)

Peru

Tren Macho

A rock fall at the beginning of February 2016 has, once more, disrupted the Tren Macho route, this time at Kilometer 85 between Mariscal Cáceres and Acoria. It appears that authorities have reacted quickly this time as clearing and repair work on the line and the adjacent tunnel started just a few days after the event, and reopening of the line is expected for April.
(Source: )

Uruguay

Last Henschel Dampflok

One of the Directors of the state railway AFE, at the same time member of the Club Atlético Peñarol, has handed them the last existing Henschel steam engine in order to be plinthed outside the new Peñarol stadium. This alone stirred up the minds, but when the engine was to be transported, she couldn't be separated from her tender, and a welding torch was used to cut the coupling rod. On top of it there was some minor collision damage when they tried to move the engine with a diesel locomotive. It was eventually successful to place the engine outside the stadium and it will now be painted in black. This is the last of its class within the AFE fleet, and it could have been restored to operational condition.
(Source: CEFU)

20.02.2016

Argentina

Tandil – Barker und Tandil – Vela – Benito Juárez

During the coming weeks Ferrobaires will introduce regular passenger services from Tandil to Barker (69 km) and to Vela and Benito Juárez (85 km) using a former Portuguese railways Nohab railcar. According to the press these services may run daily. The service Buenos Aires - 25 de Mayo gets former Por-tuguese Sorefame electric-multiple-units with a diesel loco to replace the Nohab railcar.
(Source: Volta o Trem 20-2)

Tren Urbano in Santa Fe

Early January the Urban Train at Santa Fe started its opera-tion, but 4 days later it was suspended due to technical prob-lems which have not been released until now, due to the lack of spare parts.
(Source: Volta o Trem 20-2)

Brazil

Ferdinando Laboreaux – Araçatuba – Birigui

The city of Araçatuba (São Paulo state) wants to invest BRR 5,9m for the creation of a steam-loco hauled tourist train on the 20,5 km long line between Ferdinando Laboreaux, Araçatuba and Birigui, a section of the metre-gauge Baurú-Corumbá main line. The first plan to rehabilitate a 10 km section towards Eng. Tavares on a closed branch line was scrapped due to the high costs. The rolling-stock is already there, but needs complete reconstruction.
(Source: Volta o Trem 20-2)

„Metro“ Teresina

The urban railway of Teresina (also called Metro) is getting 2016 BRR217m from the federal government to finally reha-bilitate its infrastructure and to buy new rolling-stock to replace the 40 years old Ganz-Mávag trains. Piauí state will add a fur-ther BRR 11,45m towards this sum. This is the poorest urban railway in Brazil, waiting for some investment for many years.
(Source: Volta o Trem 20-2)

Tramway Santa Teresa

One section of the historic Santa Teresa tramway at Rio de Janeiro is back in daily operation. New cars are running, they have been built according to the old ones. More sections will be put into service during the current year.
(Source: Volta o Trem 20-2)

Tramway Santos

A first part of 6,5 km of the new Santos tramway commenced commercial operation.
(Source: Volta o Trem 20-2)

Chile

Tacna - Arica

Recent news indicate that the railcar between Tacna and Arica may start in April 2016 after the end of the rain season. The insurance fee could be lowered to US$ 50‘000 and the province was finally able to pay it.
(Source: Volta o Trem 20-2)

Peru

Tacna - Arica

Recent news indicate that the railcar between Tacna and Arica may start in April 2016 after the end of the rain season. The insurance fee could be lowered to US$ 50‘000 and the province was finally able to pay it.
(Source: Volta o Trem 20-2)

10.01.2016

Argentina

Alejandro Korn - Chascomús

Dezember 18, 2015 SOFSE introduced new local services between Alejandro Korn and Chascomús, offering 11 weekday, 9 Saturday and 8 Sunday connections to and from the electric suburban trains.
(Source: Volta o Trem 20-1)

Damages caused by Floods in Bragado and Mar del Plata

The damages caused by floods have still not been repaired, so the lines to Bragado and Mar del Plata remain closed and for the first time Mar del Plata can not be reached by train during Summer.
(Source: Volta o Trem 20-1)

Brazil

Main Station Barão de Mauá in Rio de Janeiro

The dilapidated former main station Barão de Mauá at Rio de Janeiro has been taken over by government organisations of the transport sector to stop further decay. Using the offices of the former station is also cheaper than the former ones at Copacabana. This is a further step to savings in the current economic crisis.
(Source: Volta o Trem 20-1)

Chile

Lomas Coloradas - Coronel

The Biotren South line from Lomas Coloradas to Coronel over a distance of 17 km will be opened for regular traffic during the second half of February 2016. Since end December 2015 public test runs are operating.
(Source: Volta o Trem 20-1)

Coronel - Lota

Until end of January 2016 planning for a further extension over 9 km from Coronel to Lota will be completed and there is a project to build a 5 km branch from Concepción station tom the city center.
(Source: Volta o Trem 20-1)

Tacna - Arica

Chilean customs administration dismantled its installations at Arica station because the reintrodution of trains between Tacna and Arica never took place, despite many announce-ments by the Peruvian government.
(Source: Volta o Trem 20-1)

Peru

Tacna - Arica

Chilean customs administration dismantled its installations at Arica station because the reintrodution of trains between Tacna and Arica never took place, despite many announce-ments by the Peruvian government.
(Source: Volta o Trem 20-1)

31.12.2015

Argentina

Concordia area

The heavy rainfall at the end of December 2015 has caused severe flooding in the Concordia area (Entre Ríos province) which damaged railway infrastructure currently under renovation. The rail infrastructure administrator ADIF is currently unable to tell at what stage freight traffic can be restored.
(Source: Crónica Ferroviaria)

Tren a las Nubes

Heavy rainfall in Salta province on 05 December 2015 led to the collapse of the railway bridge crossing the San Lorenzo river. Operation of the Tren a las Nubes has, therefore, been suspended. In difference to other line closures, Salta province, Nuevos Ferrocarriles Argentinos and ADIF immediately began with a provisional repair of the bridge to rescue the Tren a las Nubes stock which was blocked at Campo Quijano, west of Salta. This was possible after a few days of work. In the meantime, full reconstruction of the bridge is under way and according to local sources, the line is expected to be operational again in March. Tren a las Nubes is currently accepting bookings starting from 19 March 2016.
(Source: Crónica ferroviária, Tren a las Nubes)

Rio Salado Bridge

Ferrobaires has started provisional repair work on the old Río Salado bridge, which had been damaged by flooding in August 2015. This should make it possible to resume train traffic to Mar del Plata in January 2016. Construction work on the new bridge, in the immediate vicinity of the old bridge, has progressed but is currently stopped due to financial problems.
(Source: Ferrobaires)

New Coaches for Metro Buenos Aires

The metro of Buenos Aires (Subte) has started testing of the first 6 Metropolis carriages supplied by Alstom on 27 August 2015; this on Line H. The fleet will eventually consist of 120 vehicles and will replace older trains.
One day earlier, testing of some of the 105 new metro carriages supplied by CRRC (China) had started on line A. These will replace the old FIAT/Materfer trains.
(Source: Tramways and Urban Transit)

Several Changes of Offers

On 18 December 2015, SOFSE increased the number of trains between Temperley, Alejandro Korn and Chascomús. Monday to Friday there are 11 round-trips, 9 on Saturdays and 7 on Sundays on this route. They connect with the electric suburban trains on the Roca line to and from Buenos Aires. Early in January 2016 it has been announced that the extension of some services from Chascomús to Lezama is intended.
At the same date in December, local trains were introduced between Cañuelas, Lobos and Monte; however, these will only run on weekdays. Lobos and Monte had been served by just a few long-distance trains per week from Cañuelas.
(Source: Trenes Argentinos/SOFSE)

Brazil

End of the line for Ferrovía da Integração Oeste-Leste (FIOL)?

The federal office for budget control noted in a study published in October 2015 that this line of 1500 km, connecting the port of Ilhéus and Figueirópolis in Tocantins state and currently under construction, would be uneconomical under the current circumstances. Also, construction of a new port at Ilhéus seems to be postponed for an undetermined time. However, construction of the section between Caetité (90 km west of Brumado on the Belo Horizonte – Salvador line) to Ilhéus with a length of about 500 km and currently 70% complete, will be finalised and become operational. At Ilhéus, the current port will be connected to this line. The section between Caetité and Barreiras, another 500 km long and about 50% complete, will be “frozen” at the current level; no tracks have been laid yet and only a few structures have been built. The last third from Barreiras to Figueirópolis has been fully surveyed, but only a few earthworks have started. It will remain untouched for an undetermined time. Current construction work is almost 2 years delayed, with an overspend of BRR 2,2 billion (from 4,3 to 6,5 billion Reais).
(Source: Various local newspapers)

Urban Railway Campina Grande

The city of Campina Grande in Paraíba state, in conjunction with CBTU and the government, is currently working on a project for a 15 km long urban railway, which will mostly use the alignment of the existing and underused metre-gauge line between the university hospital in the north and the Aluizio campus in the south of the city.
(Source: Tramways and Urban Transit)

Tramway Santa Teresa

The famous Santa Tereza tramway in Rio de Janeiro resumed its service on 27 July 2015 on a first, 1,7 km long section. New cars, built in Brazil and externally resembling the old cars, are running on newly laid tracks. The original cars have been preserved, but are currently withdrawn and will be retained for museum purposes. Trams depart Monday to Saturday every 20 minutes between 1100 and 1600 hrs., and during testing no fares will be charged. More sections of line will be re-opened as they become available for traffic after track re-laying.
(Source: Tramways and Urban Transit)

Miguel Pereira – Governador Portela

A consortium of railway associations, the municipality of Miguel Pereira and other official agencies are working feverishly on the rehabilitation of the 4,5 km long line from Miguel Pereria to Governador Portela and an extension of 9 km to the viaduct Paulo de Frontim. This section of the former metre-gauge line “Linha Auxiliar” (Japerí – Tres Rios) will see a gauge change from 1000 mm to 1600 mm (5 ft. 3 in.), however, all level crossings will get a third rail to enable metre-gauge gauge trains to pass in the future, should this be needed. For the tourist train, this won't be the case as a broad-gauge Budd railcar has already been refurbished at Juiz de Fora and brought to Miguel Pereira with a second railcar to follow. It is intended to rebuild the line in broad gauge until Vassouras or Paraíba do Sul and to operate a luxury tourist train using the coaches of the former Trem da Prata night train (it linked Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo in its day). Opening to traffic of the first section of line is expected to take place during 2016.
(Source: ONG Amigos do Trem)

Chile

Coloradas - Coronel - Lota

In the second half of February 2016, the southern extension of the suburban line from Lomas Coloradas to Coronel, operated by Biotren, will become operational. Public test runs have started towards the end of December 2015 and prove to be hugely popular. Design work on a further extension from Coronel to Lota is expected to start in January 2016. The alignment of the now closed original line will be used, too. Meanwhile, an 8-year-old project to build a 5 km-long extension from Concepción station to the city centre has been taken up again. The original plan included some underground sections, but after the strong earthquake in 2010 this was abandoned in favour of an alignment at level.
(Source: Ferrosur/Biotren)

Colombia

Medellín

At the end of August 2015, the first test runs took place on the new Translohr line in Medellín. The 4,3 km long line with 9 stops connects the San Antonio Metro station, where lines A and B meet, with 2 also newly-built “Metrocable” (aerial cableway) lines M and H. The Translohr system is similar to a tramway, but the vehicles run on rubber tyres and follow a guiding rail embedded in the road surface. Revenue service started in October 2015.
(Source: Tramways and Urban Transit)

Cuba

Tramway Santiago de Cuba

The city of Santiago de Cuba will get its tramway back for the 500th anniversary. The original system was closed in 1952, however, even after 63 years most of the track is still in situ and many poles of the overhead lines still stand. Tracks are currently being cleared and the overhead line restored on the 2 km-long section from La Alameda to the Avenida Juan Gualberto Gómez-Flor Crombet (near Universidad Oriente). The line will be rehabilitated in 3 stages. As no old tramcars exist anymore, the state railway UFC has transferred a Brill car (Nr 3008) in renovated condition from the electric Hershey railway (División Camilo Cienfuegos) to Santiago. Two trailers are to follow; they are currently under repair at the Matanzas workshops. The new tramway line will be a tourist attraction to carry visitors through restored parts of the historic city centre.
(Source: Ciencia de Cuba, Radio Mambi)

Ecuador

Tramway Cuenca

The first of 14 tramways for the new Cuenca tramway was delivered in mid-July 2015. They are being built by Alstom – the supplier of the entire system – and are of the Citadis type. Power supply of the 10,2 km long line will be underground and not via overhead lines; this in order to protect the appearance of the historic city. Test runs have started on 19 October, and the system is expected to be fully operational by mid-2016.
(Source: Tramways and Urban Transit)

Metro Quito

Construction of the 22,5 km long metro line of Quito has been awarded to a consortium formed by Acciona and the Brazilian contractor Odebrecht. Overall cost is estimated at US$ 1,54 billion. No trains have been ordered as yet.
(Source: Tramways and Urban Transit)

Guatemala

Ciudad Hidalgo - Tecún Umán

With help from Mexico, reconstruction of the cross-border line from Ciudad Hidalgo (Mexico) to Tecún Umán (Guatemala) has started. As in the past, the 1,3 km long section will be fitted with two track gauges (1435 mm and 914 mm). The main purpose is to establish connection to a petroleum deposit operated by Pemex in Guatemala, but it is intended that general freight traffic including exportations from Guatemala will also use the line. The line has been closed since 2005 after being destroyed by the impact of hurrican “Stan”.
According to sources in Guatemala, the government is planning to extend and rebuild the line to the outskirts of the capital, Ciudad de Guatemala, in order to revert freight traffic back to the rail mode. Funding for this has, however, not yet been secured.
(Source: El Periódico)

Mexico

Ciudad Hidalgo - Tecún Umán

With help from Mexico, reconstruction of the cross-border line from Ciudad Hidalgo (Mexico) to Tecún Umán (Guatemala) has started. As in the past, the 1,3 km long section will be fitted with two track gauges (1435 mm and 914 mm). The main purpose is to establish connection to a petroleum deposit operated by Pemex in Guatemala, but it is intended that general freight traffic including exportations from Guatemala will also use the line. The line has been closed since 2005 after being destroyed by the impact of hurrican “Stan”.
According to sources in Guatemala, the government is planning to extend and rebuild the line to the outskirts of the capital, Ciudad de Guatemala, in order to revert freight traffic back to the rail mode. Funding for this has, however, not yet been secured.
(Source: El Periódico)

Panama

Metro Ciudad de Panamá

The government has approved funding to the tune of US$ 157 million to acquire 70 additional vehicles from Alstom in order to increase capacity on line 1 of Ciudad de Panamá's metro system as passenger demand is heavy. The new fleet will be formed into 7 trains with 10 carriages each.
Construction of the 21 km long metro line 2 has started on 05 October 2015 at the San Miguelito station, where the new line will branch off from the existing line 1. It will reach the area of Nuevo Tocumen, and opening is expected in 2019.
(Source: Tramways and Urban Transit)

Venezuela

New Station Ayacucho

The new Ayacucho station on the metro line to Los Teques was opened on 07 October 2015. This was the first new opening since the economic crisis of the country started.
(Source: Metro de Caracas)

Yaritagua – Acarigua

The state railway company IFE has concluded the rehabilitation of the 67 km-long line from Yaritagua to Acarigua on 01 December 2015 and announced that passenger traffic is due to start “shortly”. For this purpose, two of the chinese-built trains which were stored for years at Barquisimeto have also been refurbished. Work on this line started in 2011.
Resumption of passenger traffic on the main route Puerto Cabello – Barquisimeto has, once more, been announced for 2016.
(Source: IFE, CRBZ)

25.11.2015

Argentina

Buenos Aires Plaza Constitución – La Plata

Electrification of the Buenos Aires Plaza Constitución – La Plata line is going ahead and the overhead wire is energized until Quilmes station and some of the new Chinese-built trains ran experimentally to Quilmes. The entire line to La Plata should be electrified by early 2016.
(Source: Volta o Trem 19-9)

Brazil

Bonocô, Salvador

November 13, 2015 Metro Salvador opened a new station, called Bonocô after a Construction period of 10 months.
(Source: Volta o Trem 19-9)

Guararema – Luís Carlos

Since October 16, 2015 a steam train runs over the broad gauge line Guararema – Luís Carlos in São Paulo state. The train runs twice per day on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays and it is especially popular with pupils and students.
(Source: Volta o Trem 19-9)

Railway Station Águas da Prata

The population of Águas da Prata (São Paulo state) was ashamed with the very rundown condition of the local railway station, which has no more been in use for 30 years. Just one freight train per day passes by today. 20 neighbors took now the initiative and they started to renovate the entire building, some are helping with materials, others are doing the job. It is not only painting, even structures have to repaired or replaced and they are working hard to present the refurbished station illuminated for Christmas.
(Source: Volta o Trem 19-9)

Chile

Valdivia – Antilhue

State president M. Bachelet travelled 8 November 2015 in a special train from Valdivia to Antilhue to inspect the progress of rebuilding the line. The steam train « El Valdiviano » will again run from January 2016 on.
(Source: Volta o Trem 19-9)

Lomas Coloradas - Coronel 

13 November 2015 the first electric passenger train operated between Lomas Coloradas and Coronel with railway techni-cians onboard. From January 2016 on public test journeys will operate on this line.
(Source: Volta o Trem 19-9)

Toco – Tocopilla

November 11, 2015 saw the definitive closure of the electrified Toco – Tocopilla Railway in Northern Chile. The line was hea-vily damaged by floods in August 2015, making the Reverso - Tocopilla section unuseable. The operator SQM closed also the mines at Pedro de Valdivia after 85 years of uninterrupted mining. All rolling-stock was brought to Maria Elena station for sale. With this step SQM terminated all railway activities.
(Source: Volta o Trem 19-9)

25.10.2015

Argentina

Buenos Aires - Chascomús

After the floods of July/August 2015 the local passenger trains between Buenos Aires and Chascmoús are running again.
(Source: Volta o Trem 19-8)

Victoria – Capilla del Señor

Because of heavy technical problems with the new Materfer-built diesel railcars on the Victoria – Capilla del Señor line these railcars have been withdrawn and all services are again operated with loco-hauled trains.
(Source: Volta o Trem 19-8)

Brazil

Criciúma - Iaçara

October 19, 2015 saw the reimplantation of a local passenger train service between Criciúma and Iaçara after a gap of 45 years ! It’s one pair of trains running Monday to Friday evenings, operating on a trial base for 2 weeks, transporting students over the 10 km section of line. The train is formed of four coaches from the Museum train which operates normally from Tubarão and a diesel-locomotive. Since the first day of operation the train operated at its capacity level. If these two weeks will be successful, Santa Catarina state plans to introduce this service on a regular level as a regional passenger railway at a later time.
(Source: Volta o Trem 19-8)

Cuba

Buffet-Coaches

Due to big problems on the railway’s catering sector, this has now been transferred from Uniíon de Ferrocarriles de Cuba UFC to Cuba Catering SA, which is also responsible for airline catering. All buffet-coaches and station restaurants and bars will now be transferred to the new operator and modernized by Cuba Catering.
(Source: Volta o Trem 19-8)

Mexico

Tequila Express

Ferromex suspended the Tourist Train Tequila Express between Guadalajara and Amatitán for an undefined period to refurbish the coaches. In the meantime a bus company is operating a Tequila-Express with road coaches.
(Source: Volta o Trem 19-8)

Peru

Huancayo - Huancavelica

Since about August 2015 railcar no. 32 operates twice weekly between Huancayo and Huancavelica.
(Source: Volta o Trem 19-8)

22.09.2015

Argentina

Railwaylines interrupted

After heavy rainfall during July/August 2015 some railway lines have been interrupted:
Buenos Aires – Mar del Plata, since September 12 a limited service between Buenos Aires and Lezama is again running.
Buenos Aires – Pinamar was closed again completely
Buenos Aires – 25 de Mayo and General Alvear; the line to General Alvear was reopened September 12.
Buenos Aires – General Pico over both lines, only Buenos Aires – Chivilcoy Sud remains served with one weekly train, and another weekly railcar Service operates Santa Rosa – Catriló – General Pico.
(Source: Volta o Trem 19-7)

Buenos Aires - Bahía Blanca

Since September 18 the Friday service from Buenos Aires to Bahía Blanca and back on Sunday is operated with a new Chinese-built SOFSE train instead of the Ferrobaires consist.
(Source: Volta o Trem 19-7)

Brazil

São Luiz - Parauapebas

September 14, 2015 EFC brought the new consist of 39 Romanian-built passenger coaches into operation between São Luiz and Parauapebas. The coaches have been built by Astra Vagoane.
(Source: Volta o Trem 19-7)

Costa Rica

Increase of Road User Fees

With a heavy increase of road user fees the government will earn important amounts for renewing the state railways INCOFER.
(Source: Volta o Trem 19-7)

Cuba

Chinese-built locomotives non-useable

The number of non-useable Chinese-built locomotives is steadly increasing and has reached such a level that at Cienfuegos only one locomotive is serviceable for shunting and the daily local train to Santo Domingo. All other services from Cienfuegos have been withdrawn until further notice.
(Source: Volta o Trem 19-7)

Russian wagons for UFC

RM-Rail of Russia is producing 363 freight wagons for Cuban Railways UFC.
(Source: Volta o Trem 19-7)

Railcars CB-10

Of the CB-10 railcars built at Cardenas the first two have been delivered to Santa Clara for local services to Vega Alta and Sagua.
(Source: Volta o Trem 19-7)

Mexico

New Station in Tijuana

A new station has been built at Tijuana, very close to the border crossing to San Ysidro/San Diego. The station may be used by the tourist train to Tecate and the future local train services in the region.
(Source: Volta o Trem 19-7)

12.07.2015

Argentina

Buenos Aires - Pinamar

On July 17, 2015 Ferrobaires reintroduces the passenger train between Buenos Aires and the coastal ressort Pinamar, after a gap of 5 years. This train runs weekly only, from Buenos Aires on Fridays, returning Sundays. It will operate during the main travel seasons in July, December to March and on Holidays only.
(Source: Volta o Trem 19-6)

Neuquén - Cipolletti

On July 20, 2015 a new suburban traffic between Neuquén and Cipolletti will be inaugurated. The first Materfer-built railcar does already make test runs over the 6 km long line between both cities since July 9. In a few days a second railcar, this one which runs between Bragado and General Pico, will arrive as relief vehicle. It is still unknown which rolling-stock will then operate the service from Bragado.
(Source: Volta o Trem 19-6)

Fórum, Santiago del Estero

Transportminister Randazzo was attending the opening of the new Fórum station at Santiago del Estero. This station will serve the new Tren del Desarrollo (Train of the Development), which will be built over a more than 4 km long high-level alignment to La Banda. The first of three railcars built by Technotren was put on the rails for this event.
(Source: Volta o Trem 19-6)

Chile

Tacna - Arica

Reopening of the Tacna-Arica Railway will be delayed by about one month until August 2015 because the rehabilitation work on the railcar could not be completed in time. The railway line is repaired and there have already been some test runs over the entire 62 km long line.
(Source: Volta o Trem 19-6)

Curicó, Talca, Linares and Parral

Politicians of the Maule Region want the creation of Regional trains between Curicó, Talca, Linares and Parral and they have put their request at the Transportministry.
(Source: Volta o Trem 19-6)

Talca – Constitución

State railways EFE and Maule Region agreed on June 19 the reconstruction of Talca station. This station was destroyed in the 2010 earthquake. Furthermore 10 stations on the Talca – Constitución narrow gauge line will also be refurbished.
(Source: Volta o Trem 19-6)

Lomas Coloradas - Coronel

Works on the Southern extension of the Biotren line from Lomas Coloradas to Coronel are in their last steps and the opening at the end of 2015 has become realistic.
(Source: Volta o Trem 19-6)

Costa Rica

Heredia - Alajuela

Reconstruction of the Heredia – Alajuela Railway line goes ahead and 70% of the line are already complete.
(Source: Volta o Trem 19-6)

Peru

Tacna - Arica

Reopening of the Tacna-Arica Railway will be delayed by about one month until August 2015 because the rehabilitation work on the railcar could not be completed in time. The railway line is repaired and there have already been some test runs over the entire 62 km long line.
(Source: Volta o Trem 19-6)

20.04.2015

Argentina

Ferrocarriles Argentinos

The Argentine Government created again FERROCARRILES ARGENTINOS.
(Source: Volta o Trem 19-5)

San Nicolás and Zárate

From May 1, 2015 on the new daily SOFSE/FA passenger train between Buenos Aires and Rosario will also serve San Nicolás station and on June 1, Zárate station may follow.
(Source: Volta o Trem 19-5)

Victoria – Capilla del Señor

After rehabilitation of part of the line from Victoria to Capilla del Señor Trenes Argentinos reduced the travelling times on this line and a new Materfer-built railcar was introduced to run a faster service.
(Source: Volta o Trem 19-5)

Brazil

CBTU Natal

CBTU Natal introduced, after many test runs, the first few new Bom Sinal-built railcars into regular use. One train on each line from Natal to Ceará Mirim and Natal to Parnamirim is now run with new railcars. Every month more railcars are arriving at Natal and during 2016 all services will run with the new vehi-cles. At the same time tracks and level-crossing are upgraded.
(Source: Volta o Trem 19-5)

Tourist trains in Brazil

On http://www.fahrplancenter.com/AIFFLABrasilienTurismo.html you can find a complete and updated list of all tourist train operations in Brazil.
(Source: Volta o Trem 19-5)

Zamin / Amapá Railway

The Amapá Railway is temporarily out of service due to financial issues with the concessionaire Zanim. Amapá state is about to take the railway over to guarantee the very important passenger service to the local population.
(Source: Volta o Trem 19-5)

10.04.2015

Argentina

Tren a las Nubes

April 4, 2015 Tren a las Nubes (Train to the Clouds) recommenced its operations. It is now operated by a daughter company of SOFSE/Ferrocarriles Argentinos and runs most Saturdays until early December. For more information go to http://www.fahrplancenter.com/AIFFLAArgentina313.html fares have been increased heavily.
(Source: Volta o Trem 19-4)

Neuquén – Cipolletti

July 20, 2015 the suburban service between Neuquén and Cipolletti may finally start, this after 15 years of intentions to establish this service. The two new railcars will be delivered about 4 weeks prior to the start of the service and the trains may then operate 16 times a day over this 6,1 km long line.
(Source: Volta o Trem 19-4)

Bolivia

Tramway Santa Cruz de la Sierra

A project for building a tramway network at Santa Cruz de la Sierra has been announced early in April 2015.
(Source: Volta o Trem 19-4)

Chile

Floods

Heavy rainfall and floods late March in Northern Chile damaged FCAB’s lines Antofagsta – Mejillones and Antofagasta – Calama, where reconstruction is under way. The 60 km between Chañaral and Potrerillos have been completely destroyed, causing damages of about US$100m and reconstruction is not sure. Chañaral – Diego de Almagro of Ferronor was also destroyed.
(Source: Volta o Trem 19-4)

Cuba

Camarones – Cumanayagua

The transport ministry announced the reconstruction of the dismantled branch line from Camarones to Cumanayagua, including its lengthening to La Campana where the army is building a base.
(Source: Volta o Trem 19-4)

Mexico

EMD SD70ACe

Ferromex acquired another 19 diesel locomotives of the EMD SD70ACe type, which brings this now to 116 of 4300 hp locomotives in service. Ferrosur SA acquired also 15 locomotives of this class, which means that Ferrosur operates EMD locomotives for the first time.
(Source: Volta o Trem 19-4)

Uruguay

Algorta – Fray Bentos

Reconstruction of the 141 km long line from Algorta to Fray Bentos was published recently.
(Source: Volta o Trem 19-4)

31.03.2015

Argentina

Ferrocarriles Argentinos/FA as a State Holding for the Railways

The Argentinian governement has proposed a bill which will re-establish Ferrocarriles Argentinos/FA as a state holding for the railways of the country. FA will include the following subisidiaries: ADIF for infrastructure, SOFSE for passenger traffic and Belgrano Cargas y Logística BCyL for freight traffic. In the meantime, both houses of the Argentinian parliament have passed the bill and it will shortly be signed into law.
(Source: La Nación)

20 new Dieselunits for Belgrano Norte

The Argentinian manufacturer Grupo Emepa in Chascomús is currently producing a batch of 20 two-piece Diesel Multiple Units, known as „Alerce“ (larch). This fleet will be used on the metre-gauge Belgrano Norte suburban line of Buenos Aires and will cover limited-stop services between Buenos Aires/Retiro, Ciudad Universitaria, Aristóbulo del Valle and Boulogne-sur-Mer. Each two-piece will offer 120 seats, air conditioning, on-board WiFi, CCTV and LED lighting. The first of these trains has been presented in March 2015. 90 per cent of all materials and parts are being sourced in Argentina, while the brake systems are produced in Germany and door operation systems come from Austria.
(Source: Telám)

Rehabilitation Rosario – Tortugas

ADIF has started track rehabilitation on the 90 km long section Rosario – Tortugas of the Rosario – Córdoba trunk line.
(Source: Fahrplancenter correspondents)

Track Repairs Colonia Alvear Oeste - Bowen

Track repairs will begin during April 2015 on the 23 km long section between Colonia Alvear Oeste and Bowen; funding has already been secured. As a first stage, local passenger traffic will be introduced on this absolutely straight line in the Mendoza province. After that, it is planned to re-open the 306 km long stretch from Bowen to Realicó via Polledo, Nueva Galia, Chamaicó and Rancul. At Realicó (La Pampa province), connection will be established with the existing train to Buenos Aires. The Colonia Alvear – Realicó section was closed for passenger traffic in the late 1970ies, and with the closure of the Mendoza – Colonia Alvear line in 1982, that city lost any rail passenger traffic.
(Source: Sitio Andino)

Neu Project San Antonio Oeste - Tierra del Fuego

A project, created in 1994, to build a 1636 km long trunk railway line from San Antonio Oeste across Patagonia as far as Tierra del Fuego (Fireland), has been put on the agenda again. Former state president Menem halted the project in 1999 as being „useless“.
(Source: Tiempo Sur)

8000 Passengers Posadas - Encarnación

The new train link between Posadas and Encarnación, operated by dutch Wadloper railcars, sees now daily frequencies of up to 8000 passengers.
(Source: SOFSE)

Puerto Tirol – Resistencia – Puerto Vilelas

SOFSE has rescheduled its local traffic on the Puerto Tirol – Resistencia – Puerto Vilelas line during the second half of 2014. A new halt, Cocomarola, was openend between Bouvier and Gusberti on the Resistencia – Puerto Vilelas section. The number of services has remained almost unchanged, however, travel times were extended by 6 to 15 minutes.
(Source: SOFSE)

Buenos Aires Retiro – Rufino

On 27th February 2015, SOFSE introduced train service on the 421 km long route Buenos Aires – Retiro – Rufino. The train, formed of newly-built chinese carriages and offering both First and Pullman classes, departs Retiro on Fridays and returns on Sundays. The service only calls at Mercedes, Chacabuco, Junín, Vedia and Alberdi stations. While this train is being operated by SOFSE, the local Ferrobaires train between Retiro and Junín keeps operating on weekdays.
There are talks about extending the SOFSE train beyond Rufino as far as Justo Daract.
(Source: SOFSE)

Bolivia

Arica - Puquíos - Viacha

Commercial freight traffic will start in mid-April 2015, after a disruption of over 10 years. Initially, trains will run between Arica and Puquíos and some 8 months later, trains are expected to regularly reach Viacha in Bolivia. The railway has sourced 2 new diesel locomotives and 20 multi-use freight cars.
A media statement from management points out that freight traffic has priority, but at a later stage passenger and tourist train operations are not ruled out. The railway now operates under the stewardship of the Chilean state railway EFE.
(Source: Aricaldia)

Brazil

Avoiding Line around the City of Araraquara commissioned

On 20th February 2015, ANTT commissioned the new avoiding line around the city of Araraquara. This will allow to remove the intensive freight traffic coming from the north of São Paulo state and Mato Grosso state from the city centre. The new line has less curves and will slightly shorten the distance to Santa Fé do Sul, but will require trains to Barretos and Colômbia to reverse their direction of travel north of Araraquara in the future. Traffic will, however, only start once the two stations of Ouro (on the Itirapina – Colômbia line) and Tutóia (on the Araraquara – Sante Fé do Sul line) have been upgraded accordingly. Work at both stations is progressing on schedule.
(Source: Revista Ferroviária)

Chile

Arica - Puquíos - Viacha

Commercial freight traffic will start in mid-April 2015, after a disruption of over 10 years. Initially, trains will run between Arica and Puquíos and some 8 months later, trains are expected to regularly reach Viacha in Bolivia. The railway has sourced 2 new diesel locomotives and 20 multi-use freight cars.
A media statement from management points out that freight traffic has priority, but at a later stage passenger and tourist train operations are not ruled out. The railway now operates under the stewardship of the Chilean state railway EFE.
(Source: Aricaldia)

Tacna – Arica

On 16th February 2015, track repair and refurbishment work on the international railway line Tacna – Arica commenced within the city of Tacna, where the line is running on the streets. Work is carried out on behalf of the Ministry of Transport of Perú and consists mainly of sleeper replacement as well as laying new rails on some 10 km of the line. It is expected to terminate the works until the end of July 2015 and to then resume operations.
Meanwhile, the only railcar (Autovagón) in useable condition is also being refurbished. Apart of technical attention, a toilet will also be fitted.
The government intends to privatise this line in 2016.
(Source: Rieles and La República)

Colombia

La Tebaída - Buenaventura

The train operator Ferrocarril del Pacífico plans to resume freight traffic between La Tebaida (near the city of Armenia) and the port of Buenaventura in mid-May 2015. The railway company has invested US$ 32 Mio during 2014 and 2015, of which some $20 Mio were used for infrastructure repair and upgrades and the rest for rolling stock. Four brand-new diesel locomotives of the R22 class were purchased from Grindrod in South Africa. It is expected to increase the monthly traffic volume from 25'000 tonnes to 80'000 tonnes by operating freight trains over the entire line.
(Source: Crónica del Quindio)

Costa Rica

Heredia - Alajuela

The state railway INCOFER is currently building a line from Heredia towards Alajuela, to the north of the capital San José. Work on the first section has widely progressed, and the introduction of passenger trains between the stations of Heredia and San Joaquín de Flores is scheduled for 15th April 2015. Services will be covered by the usaual Apolo railcars (ex-FEVE, Spain). The next stage, to be ready for 15th September of the current year, will connect to the Río Segundo station, already in the Alajuela district, thus extending the range of the Apolo railcars. Track will be laid to modern standards with concrete sleepers. Along the new line there is a total of 12 level crossings which will all be duly signalled.
As currently only a funding of CRC 4'500 mio (some € 7,6 mio) is available, it is not yet possible to extend the line to the town centre of Alajuela (about 10 km from Heredia). New rolling stock will also be required to cover services to Alajuela. New legislation is under preparation which will introduce a fuel duty of 5% in order to ensure long-term funding of railways. Once this bill is passed, it will be decided whether to build the line to Alajuela and to electrify it.
It is being criticised from various parties that the extension of the line from Heredia without any additional rolling stock will cause even more shortages as trains on the existing lines are already overcrowded during most hours of the day.
Various politicians have, however, raised the issue whether to maintain the current track gauge of 1067 mm or if it would make sense to convert the entire network of the country to standard gauge of 1435 mm. Contacts have been made with suppliers and manufacturers in Europe, Brasil and China in order to get advice.
(Source: Fahrplancenter correspondents)

Refurbishment Puerto Limón – Moin – Siquirres

At the beginning of 2015, track refurbishment started on the Puerto Limón – Moin – Siquirres line. Freight traffic is to be intensified on the renewed tracks, and the tourist train should benefit, too.
(Source: CRHOY; La Nación)

Mexico

Stop of Work Ciudad de México – Toluca

Protests have halted construction of the Ciudad de Méxcio – Toluca railway line. The protest groups blame the government of corruption and demand a repetition of the tendering process for this project. A partial re-alignment of the planned line has also been requested. The Secretary for Transport of the federal government has then dictated a stop of all work until further notice.
(Source: Various sources incl. Sin Embargo)

New Bridge between USA and Mexico

On 31st March 2015, the seventh railway bridge (and the first after 106 years!) between the USA and Mexico was openend. The bridge carries a new railway line from Brownsville (USA) to Matamoros (Mexico) and connects the network of Union Pacific in the USA to the one of Kansas City Southern of Mexico. This crossing of the Rio Grande river is located about 23 km upstream from Brownsville. Some US$ 40 Mio were spent in the USA and another US$ 80 Mio in Mexico for construction of the bridge and access lines. At Brownsville, the new track alignment allowed for the removal of tracks in the city streets.
(Source: The Monitor)

Paraguay

8000 Passengers Posadas - Encarnación

The new train link between Posadas and Encarnación, operated by dutch Wadloper railcars, sees now daily frequencies of up to 8000 passengers.
(Source: SOFSE)

Peru

Lima - La Oroya

Heavy rainfall at the end of March 2015 disrupted the road between Lima and La Oroya. Therefore, Ferrocarril Central Andino decided to temporarily operate a mixed train for the transport of passengers and freight in order to enable the flow of people and goods between these two cities. Any transport, whether passenger or freight, is free of cost!
(Source: Diário Correo)

Lima – Huancayo

The tourist train Lima – Huancayo will, as in the previous year, run 6 times in 2015.
(Source: Fahrplancenter)

Metro in Lima

Construction of line 2 of the Lima metro system is progressing well, and the first 5 stations will be built during 2015. The first section to be opened will be from the Santa Anita station to Bolognesi, expected to happen during 2016. The final destination of the line will be the international airport „Jorge Chávez“, to be connected by 2020. Planning for the extension of line 1 towards Lurín has also started.
(Source: América TV)

Tacna – Arica

On 16th February 2015, track repair and refurbishment work on the international railway line Tacna – Arica commenced within the city of Tacna, where the line is running on the streets. Work is carried out on behalf of the Ministry of Transport of Perú and consists mainly of sleeper replacement as well as laying new rails on some 10 km of the line. It is expected to terminate the works until the end of July 2015 and to then resume operations.
Meanwhile, the only railcar (Autovagón) in useable condition is also being refurbished. Apart of technical attention, a toilet will also be fitted.
The government intends to privatise this line in 2016.
(Source: Rieles and La República)

25.03.2015

Argentina

Buenos Aires - Córdoba

he overnight trains between Buenos Aires and Córdoba are composed of new Chinese-built rolling-stock since 9 March 2015.Two weeks later state Railways SOFSE reintroduced passenger services of Tren de las Sierras between Rodriguez del Busto and Alta Córdoba.
(Source: Volta o Trem 19-3)

Buenos Aires – Junín - Alberdí

Mid-March 2015 the Ferrobaires local train Buenos Aires – Junín – Alberdí was reintroduced.
(Source: Volta o Trem 19-3)

Ferrocarriles Argentinos

The Argentine Government is issuing a new law to create again FERROCARRILES ARGENTINOS as mayor organi-sation, which will combine SOFSE (passenger services), ADIF (infrastructure) and Belgrano (freight operations).
(Source: Volta o Trem 19-3)

Posadas – Encarnación

The number of daily passengers between Posadas and Encarnación reached now about 8000 per day.
(Source: Volta o Trem 19-3)

Chile

Santiago – Temuco

Next overnight passenger trains Santiago – Temuco, from Santiago 02 April, from Temuco 05 April.
(Source: Volta o Trem 19-3)

Talca – González Bastías

Buscarril will operate additional trains between Talca and González Bastías on 11 and 25 April.
(Source: Volta o Trem 19-3)

Honduras

Liquidation of National Railways FNH

Liquidation of National Railways FNH has started. To pay pensions some buildings have been sold and most rolling-stock stored at Puerto Cortéz was sold as scrap.
(Source: Volta o Trem 19-3)

Mexico

Tren Turístico Tijuana Tecate

The Tijuana Tecate Tourist Train is running again, about once monthly, dates are published at very short notice. The trip includes a two hour journey to Tecate, visit of brewery, meals and music and a 2 hour journey back to Tijuana.
(Source: Volta o Trem 19-3)

Paraguay

Posadas – Encarnación

The number of daily passengers between Posadas and Encarnación reached now about 8000 per day.
(Source: Volta o Trem 19-3)

08.03.2015

Argentina

Buenos Aires - Junín - Rufino

SOFSE introduced a new weekly passenger train between Buenos Aires, Junín and Rufino, formed of new chinese-built rolling-stock.
March 2, 2015 Ferrobaires suspended ist local train between Buenos Aires and Junín after a derailment.

(Source: Volta o Trem 19-2)

Posadas - Encarnación

The local service between Posadas and Encarnación is be-coming more popular, in the meantime up to 7000 passengers use this service which is run daily every 30 mins. with Wadloper railcars.
(Source: Volta o Trem 19-2)

Buenos Aires - Rosario Sur

SOFSE expects to inaugurate long-distance passenger trains with new chinese-built rolling-stock on April 1, 2015 between Buenos Aires and the new station at Rosario Sur. Test runs are operating currently and the signal systems are currently adapted.
(Source: Volta o Trem 19-2)

Resistencia/Cocomarola

End 2014 SOFSE changed timings of the Resstencia local services and a new halt at Cocomarola was opened.
(Source: Volta o Trem 19-2)

San Carlos de Bariloche - Ing. G. Jacobacci

Because of the reduction of of road services between San Carlos de Bariloche and Ing. G. Jacobacci Tren Patagonico plans to run its local train three times per week.
(Source: Volta o Trem 19-2)

Tacna – Arica

Reconstruction of the railway from Tacna to Arica has started. The works are done by the Peruvian Transport ministry. Sleepers and some rails will be replaced and the only useable railcar undergoes rehabilitation including the installation of a toilet. Services should commence towards the end of 2015 and later on the line should be privatized.
(Source: Volta o Trem 19-2)

Paraguay

Posadas - Encarnación

The local service between Posadas and Encarnación is be-coming more popular, in the meantime up to 7000 passengers use this service which is run daily every 30 mins. with Wadloper railcars.
(Source: Volta o Trem 19-2)

Peru

Tacna – Arica

Reconstruction of the railway from Tacna to Arica has started. The works are done by the Peruvian Transport ministry. Sleepers and some rails will be replaced and the only useable railcar undergoes rehabilitation including the installation of a toilet. Services should commence towards the end of 2015 and later on the line should be privatized.
(Source: Volta o Trem 19-2)

31.01.2015

Argentina

New Coaches, new Relations

SOFSE introduced a daily round-trip between Buenos Aires and the new station Rosario Sur on 1st April 2015. Currently, this train does not call at intermediate stations. At present, travel time ascends to about
6 hrs 30 min, while the now discontinued slow service took some 9 hrs to connect Buenos Aires and Rosario Norte (315 km).
(Source: SOFSE)

Tren a las Nubes

The famous „Tren a las Nubes“ resumed operations on 04th April 2015. According to media reports, track repairs took place previously, and the fleet of carriages has been refurbished at the Alta Córdoba workshops. Although a timetable with outward and return times has been published, passengers currently return by bus from San Antonio de los Cobres to Salta in the afternoon/evening. At present, it is unclear whether passengers can choose to remain on board and return by train to Salta. The fare for this tour is ARP 1540.00 (some € 160.00), while residents of Salta province pay a single fare of ARP 350.00 (€ 36.60). The new operator is Sociedad del Estado Tren a las Nubes/SFTSE, a subsidiary of the state railway Ferrocarriles Argentinos/SOFSE.
(Source: Rieles)

Brazil

Tramway/Light Rail System at Cuiabá

Construction of the modern tramway/light rail system at Cuiabá is again faltering. Only about half of the line Várzea Grande – Cuiabá is more or less complete. Particularly, there is major progress in the town of Várzea Grande, the station at the airport would be ready for service and there are long sections through town on which tracks have already been laid. The bridge across Cuiabá river is nearly complete. Things look quite different at Cuiabá, some sections appear to be ready for tracklaying, while on other sections earthworks are still ongoing. There are, however, some stretches where no work at all has been done, not even the utilities have been moved. Politicians from Cuiabá city are now calling for a referendum in the two municipalities with some 600'000 voters in order to determine whether construction should be continued or an express bus system be introduced instead. All interested parties agree that public transport must be improved, and those with a negative stance towards the referendum correctly highlight the amount of money already spent on the project. All materials (rails, overhead lines, vehicles etc.) are on site and have been paid. It is feared that the materials could only be sold at a loss, in case the Light Rail scheme would be cancelled.
(Source: Diário de Cuiabá)

Tramway in Rio de Janeiro

In Rio de Janeiro, the first 400 metres of tramway track were laid in the Rua General Luiz Mendes during March 2015. It is expected to lay some 200 to 400 metres of track per month. Utilities have been moved in most streets and the foundations prepared for tracklaying. Only in the very busy Avenida Rio Branco there is little progress so far, but work is expected to be complete by mid-2015. The first stretch of the tramway is scheduled to start operations in the first half of 2016.
(Source: Revista Ferroviária)

New Tramway Car für the Bonde de Santa Teresa

The first new tramway car for the Bonde de Santa Teresa (Santa Teresa tramway) in Rio de Janeiro was delivered by the manufacturer T'Trans and could be seen on test runs at the end of February 2015. The new vehicles are replicas which externally match the historical cars, but are fitted with modern technology. Delayed delivery of rails by the polish manufacturer is blamed for the fact that operations still haven't resumed.
(Source: Trem.org)

Freight Traffic on the Norte-Sul Railway

After many initial problems, freight traffic started on the Norte-Sul railway at the end of February 2015, although at modest level. Early in March, various new diesel locomotives were based along the line. These locomotives of the SD70ACe class, built by Progress Rail, are hauled by road from the manufacturing plant at Sete Lagoas to Anápolis and continue from there by rail to their operating bases. The first 4 out of a batch of 18 locomotives were transferred to Imperatriz, from where they will operate for the freight operator VLI.
(Source: Revista Ferrovária)

Gurupi (Tocantins) – Anápolis

The brasilian agency for land transport ANTT formally opened the Gurupi (Tocantins) – Anápolis section for general freight traffic on 18th February 2015. A temporary closure of that stretch of the Norte-Sul railway line had to be imposed because after opening in May 2014 some deficiencies on the track and drainages were spotted. All faults have since been rectified.
(Source: Revista Ferrovária)

20.01.2015

Argentina

Posadas - Encarnación

December 31, 2014 saw the beginning of the regular passenger traffic between Posadas and Encarnación with ex-Dutch Railways Wadloper railcars. Trains operates daily every 30 min. Between 07.00 and 18.30, one-way fare is ARP 18.00.
(Source: Volta o Trem 19-1)

Brazil

Barbacena

The NGO Amigos do Trem (Friends of the Train) completed refurbishment of the broad-gauge Budd railcar MH946005-7F built in the USA 1958. The railcar was brought to Barbacena with the help of MRS and will be used as the Trem das Rosas (Train of the Roses) on behalf of Barbacena municipality.
(Source: Volta o Trem 19-1)

Chile

Santiago – Temuco

During the main season TMSA/TerraSur operates again a night-train between Santiago and Temuco. From Santiago January 16 & 30, February 13 & 27. From Temuco January 19, February 1 & 15, March 1.

(Source: Volta o Trem 19-1)

Ecuador

Ibarra–Otavalo

The railway Ibarra – Otavalo reopened officially January 15, 2015 and from January 24 on public services may start to run.
(Source: Volta o Trem 19-1)

Mexico

Ciudad de México – Toluca

Thales will plan and build the signal systems of the new Mexcio City – Toluca railway.
(Source: Volta o Trem 19-1)

Paraguay

Posadas - Encarnación

December 31, 2014 saw the beginning of the regular passenger traffic between Posadas and Encarnación with ex-Dutch Railways Wadloper railcars. Trains operates daily every 30 min. Between 07.00 and 18.30, one-way fare is ARP 18.00.
(Source: Volta o Trem 19-1)

Peru

Lima-Huancayo

Ferrocarril Central Andino published the running dates of the train Lima-Huancayo for 2015, there are again 6 round-trips. April 02. from Lima 07.00, April 05. from Huancayo 07.00, May 01. from Lima 07.00, May 03. from Huancayo 07.00, June 27. from Lima 07.00, June 29. from Huancayo 07.00 , July 26. from Lima 07.00, July 29. from Huancayo 07.00, August 28. from Lima 07.00, August 31. from Huancayo 07.00, October 8. from Lima 07.00, October 11. from Huancayo 07.00. For the trips in April and July only round-trips-tickets are sold.
(Source: Volta o Trem 19-1)

11.01.2015

Argentina

Posadas - Encarnación

The international link between Posadas (Argentina) and Encarnación (Paraguay) was opened on 31 December 2014, operated by railcars. There is still no permanent train station at Encarnación, and passengers have to use mobile steps in order to board and alight from the “Wadloper” railcars. Travel time between the two stations is 7 minutes, the trains are running between 7am and 6pm while the fare for a single tickets is 18 ARP or 7000 PYG. Initial press reports suggest that demand is high as the border crossing via the road bridge usually consumes some 90 to 100 minutes.
(Source: hoy.com, Rieles)

Long-distance traffic

On 19 December 2014, SOFSE/Trenes Argentinos have, in co-operation with Ferrobaires, started operations between Buenos Aires and Mar del Plata with new Chinese rolling stock. Initially, one daily round-trip with one additional round-trip on weekends is offered.
The existing 4 weekly round-trips operated by Ferrobaires – one of them being the “Marplatense” - keep running, however with slightly altered timetables.
At the same time, the new avoiding line which skirts the city of Chascomús on the eastern side became operational along with the new “Ferroautomotora” station located on that new line. A few days after, the regional trains Buenos Aires – Chascomús from SOFSE/Trenes Argentinos were also diverted to the new station; they are since running on 7 days of the week (2 daily round-trips). Additional stops were introduced on these regional trains: Temperley (weekends only), Guernica (weekdays only), Alejandro Korn, Coronel Brandsen, Jeppener and Altamirano.
As a consequence of the still ongoing track relay/upgrade the timetables on this line will suffer from periodic alterations.
Over 5000 tickets were sold for the new trains to Mar del Plata on the first day!
(Source: Trenes Argentinos; Satelite Ferroviario)

The Buenos Aires – 25 de Mayo service, operated by Ferrobaires and established in October 2014, is only running twice per week and not three times as originally promised.
Trenes Argentinos have cancelled the twice-weekly round-trips Buenos Aires – Saladillo in December 2014. Only the twice-weekly round-trips Buenos Aires – Saladillo – General Alvear remain on this line.
(Source: Satelite Ferroviario)

Buenos Aires - Junin

The number of weekly round-trips between Buenos Aires and Junín has been reduced from 7 to 5 with the beginning of the summer timetable.
(Source: Ferrobaires)

Transfer of nine Coaches

Eyewitnesses report that SOFSE ran a stock transfer train in December 2014 from Buenos Aires to Tucumán, consisting of 9 Inox coaches ex CP and two luggage vans, apparently in order to run a third weekly train on this line. There is, however, no information available about when this train is supposed to run.
(Source: Private reports)

Brazil

Avoiding line around Três Lagoas

On 08 December 2014, the new 12 kilometre-long avoiding line around the city of Três Lagoas was opened. The entire freight traffic from América Latina Logística/ALL from Baurú to Corumbá will use this line, and the numerous open level crossings within the urban area of Três Lagoas have disappeared.
(Source: Revista Ferroviária)

New Railway Museum opened

A small railway museum has been opened in the former railway station of Sabaúna on 29 November 2014. Sabaúna is part of the city of Mogi das Cruzes (13 km from the centre) and is located on the Rio de Janeiro – São Paulo railway line. Local trains called at that station until 1986.
(Source: Fahrplancenter correspondents)

Santana do Livramento - Rio Grande do Sul

On 19 December 2014, two trains ran from Santana do Livramento to the station of Palomas and back over a stretch of 21 kilometres in the Rio Grande do Sul state of the line to Cacequi. The reason was the celebration of the 104th anniversary of the Santana do Livramento station, but served, at the same time, as test for a permanent tourist train on that section. The track infrastructure has been refurbished in recent years by the operator ALL and the Brazilian federal government in order to prepare the line for increased freight traffic to and from Uruguay which, however, hasn't materialised so far. ALL provided the locomotive for the special trains while the historic passenger carriages came from ABPF Santa Catarina, transferred by rail from Rio Negrinho via Lages and Santa Maria. Passenger turnout was very high.
A few months earlier, the same carriages, hauled by an ALL locomotive, ran as a special train on the Linha Tronco do Sul between Lages an Vacaria (a bit over 100 km) to celebrate the 45th anniversary of the line. While passenger trains ran on the line from Mafra to Lages until 1978, the section south of Lages has until today only been used by freight trains.
(Source: Revista Ferroviaria, Lages.sc.gov)

Chile

Santiago - Temuco

TMSA/Tren Central will resume direct services from Santiago to Temuco and back. The first train will run on Friday 16th January 2015, departing at 2050 hrs. from Santiago, while the return journey starts from Temuco on Sunday 18th January 2015 at 1825 hrs. Departures are scheduled for 4 weekends (16th and 30th January, 13th and 27th February). The train is called “TerraSur Temuco” and features “Salón” and “Preferente” classes; single fares are quoted at CLP 24'000 in “Salón” and CLP 38'000 in “Preferente”. Trains will call at Rancagua, Talca, Chillán, Victoria and Lautaro stations. This train last ran in 2013.
(Source: TMSA)

Santiago - San Fernando / Valle de Colchagua

EFE/TMSA will resume its excursions to the Valle de Colchagua in January 2015. These will, however, only use the train from Santiago to San Fernando, while the continuation to the Colchagua wine-producing area will be by bus. This indicates that the branch line which was heavily damaged during the earthquake in February 2010, has not yet been rebuilt.
(Source: EFE)

Talca - Gonzales Bastías

On 17th January 2015, another one of the popular excursion trains of the “Buscarril” will run from Talca to Gonzales Bastías and back, in addition to the two regular daily round-trips.
(Source: EFE)

Cartago – Basilica

At the end of October, Incofer resumed passenger transport on the 800 m long stretch of line from Cartago station to the Basílica. This is an extension of the existing service San José – Cartago on the Atlántico railway system. Since the introduction of suburban trains to Cartago it has been requested to continue to the Basílica which is centrally located in the town, and the church itself generates quite some traffic as it is an important place of pilgrimage in Costa Rica and the San José region in particular. There are currently 13 trains to and from the Basílica.
(Source: Incofer)

Guatemala

Ciudad Hidalgo - Tecún Umán

México and Guatemala have agreed to re-build the railway line from Ciudad Hidalgo (Mexico) and Tecún Umán (Guatemala). The river bridge across the border was destroyed by a hurricane a few years ago and no action has been taken ever since. There is a strong interest in Guatemala to re-open the line as that country imports petrol products from Mexico via Tecún Umán which creates an important demand for transport. On the Mexican side, the already re-built line from Ixtepec and Tapachula leads close to Ciudad Hidalgo; only a few kilometres of track and the bridge have to be re-built.
(Source: Prensa Libre)

Mexico

Readvertisement of high-speed link Ciudad de México – Querétaro

The construction of the new high-speed link Ciudad de México – Querétaro which was postponed following corruption suspicions, will be re-advertised on 14th January 2015. The expected amount of investment is USD 3,5 billion.
(Source: Revista Ferroviária)

Ciudad Hidalgo - Tecún Umán

México and Guatemala have agreed to re-build the railway line from Ciudad Hidalgo (Mexico) and Tecún Umán (Guatemala). The river bridge across the border was destroyed by a hurricane a few years ago and no action has been taken ever since. There is a strong interest in Guatemala to re-open the line as that country imports petrol products from Mexico via Tecún Umán which creates an important demand for transport. On the Mexican side, the already re-built line from Ixtepec and Tapachula leads close to Ciudad Hidalgo; only a few kilometres of track and the bridge have to be re-built.
(Source: Prensa Libre)

Paraguay

Posadas - Encarnación

The international link between Posadas (Argentina) and Encarnación (Paraguay) was opened on 31 December 2014, operated by railcars. There is still no permanent train station at Encarnación, and passengers have to use mobile steps in order to board and alight from the “Wadloper” railcars. Travel time between the two stations is 7 minutes, the trains are running between 7am and 6pm while the fare for a single tickets is 18 ARP or 7000 PYG. Initial press reports suggest that demand is high as the border crossing via the road bridge usually consumes some 90 to 100 minutes.
(Source: hoy.com, Rieles)

Uruguay

Tren Playero / Montevideo - 25 de Agosto

The Tren Playero from Montevideo to 25 de Agosto and back will run every Saturday from October to March.
(Source: Fahrplancenter correspondents)

20.12.2014

Argentina

Nationalisation

November 1, 2014 state railways SOFSE took over operation of all former Ferrocentral passenger trains from Buenos Aires to Tucumán and to and around Córdoba.
(Source: Volta o Trem 18-9)

Buenos Aires - Junin

Ferrobaires reduced the weekly number of trains between Buenos Aires and Junin from 7 to 5.
(Source: Volta o Trem 18-9)

Buenos Aires - Catriló - General Pico

The new SOSFE service Buenos Aires – Catriló – General Pico has proven to be very popular, the number of coaches per train had been significantly increased to meet the demand.
(Source: Volta o Trem 18-9)

Buenos Aires - Mar del Plata

December 19, 2014 SOFSE started to run new chinese-built trains between Buenos Aires and Mar del Plata. One daily pair and one additional service on weekends are operating, along with the four weekly round trips of Ferrobaires. On the first day over 5700 tickets have been sold for the new services. Because of the ongoing rehabilitation works of the line, journey times are at about 7 hours for the 400 km. The same day the new station at Chascomus on the new line avoiding the city centre was opened and operator Argentren introduced also weekend services of its local trains between Buenos Aires and Chascomús.
(Source: Volta o Trem 18-9)

Buenos Aires - Neuquén

Currently a new project is under consideration to reintroduce a direct passenger train between Buenos Aires and Neuquén. The federal secretary for transport is evaluating the amount for level-crossing protection along the line and there are also negotiations with Neuquén for the provision of diesel-railcars for the long-planned Neuqué-Cipolletti suburban service.
(Source: Volta o Trem 18-9)

Posadas - Encarnación

The bus company Don Casimiro bought two Wadloper railcars and brought them by their own means from Pilar to Posadas. For this journey even missing rails on the 1435 mm gauge main line have been laid again.. The company wants to provide a shuttle service between Posadas and Encarnación (Paraguay) over the international rail and road bridge. The railcars have been refurbished and newly paint at Posadas and a new station has been built close to the customs offices. A similar station should also be built at Encarnación, but is suffering some delays despite active support by Paraguayan authorities. The new train service may get some relief to the intense road traffic over the bridge.
(Source: Volta o Trem 18-9)

Bolivia

Arica – La Paz

In November Ferrocarril Arica – La Paz received 2 new diesel-locomotives for an amount of US$3,5mio. The new locos have engines of 1850 hp and new technologies help to reduce fuel consumption.
(Source: Volta o Trem 18-9)

Brazil

Santana do Livramento - Palomas

For the first time after about 20 years a passenger train travelled between Santana do Livramento and Palomas a distance of 21 km on 19 December 2014. The two round-trips operated for the 104th anniversary of the station at Santana do Livramento and as test for a planned regular tourist operation over this line. Patronage was very high. The diesel-locomotive was from ALL, the coaches from ABPF and Giordani Turismo was responsible for marketing.
(Source: Volta o Trem 18-9)

Natal - Ceará Mirim

Since december 2, 2014 a Bom Sinal built railcar took over operation of one of the local trains between Natal and Ceará Mirim in Rio Grande do Norte. Every second month one more railcar may came into service on the Natal suburban network.
(Source: Volta o Trem 18-9)

João Pessoa

November 1, 2014 Bom Sinal delivered the first diesel-railcar to the CBTU João Pessoa suburban network and this will enter into service in January 2015, during 2015 a further 7 railcars will be delivered to João Pessoa.
(Source: Volta o Trem 18-9)

Metrô Sobral

Since end October 2014 the Metro Sobral (urban railway) operates trains Monday to Friday between 08.00 and 12.00 under trial operation, but open to the public for free rides.
(Source: Volta o Trem 18-9)

Poços de Caldas

The city of Poços de Caldas (Minas Gerais) got the permission to rebuild 9 km of the former railway towards Aguas da Prata to reintroduce the once very popular tourist train. For this purpose the Federal Transport Department donated several lots of rails to the city.
(Source: Volta o Trem 18-9)

Santos – São Vicente

While some sections of the new tramway between Santos and São Vicente are still under construction, trial services already operates on a section of the new line within São Vicente.
(Source: Volta o Trem 18-9)

Chile

Arica – La Paz

In November Ferrocarril Arica – La Paz received 2 new diesel-locomotives for an amount of US$3,5mio. The new locos have engines of 1850 hp and new technologies help to reduce fuel consumption.
(Source: Volta o Trem 18-9)

Costa Rica

Heredia – Alajuela

Construction of the new 11 km long line from Heredia to Alajuela is going ahead and against former plans the line may be a bit longer to reach the San Rafael hospital at Alajuela.
(Source: Volta o Trem 18-9)

Cartago

November 3, 2014 the 0,8 km extension of the railway at Cartago to the Los Ángeles basilica was opened to public traffic.
(Source: Volta o Trem 18-9)

Ecuador

Ibarra – Otavalo

Reconstruction of the line Ibarra – Otavalo is now complete and during November 2014 some special train trips have been offered to local people along the line to familiarize them with the new rail traffic. Regular trains may start to run in a few weeks.
(Source: Volta o Trem 18-9)

Hoja Blanca

The station of Hoja Blanca between Ibarra and Salinas has been completely refurbished so it can now be used for tourist purposes.
(Source: Volta o Trem 18-9)

Honduras

Progreso

For a later reconstruction of the railway line through the city of Progreso in the North of the country, state railways FNH and city authorities freed all plots from illegal occupation and constructions.
(Source: Volta o Trem 18-9)

Mexico

Ciudad de México – Toluca

December 20, 2014 was the first day of construction of the third and last section of the new passenger railway Ciudad de México – Toluca. This section will be built completely as an elevated railway between the metro station Observatorio and La Marquesa and may be completed within 730 days.
(Source: Volta o Trem 18-9)

Paraguay

Posadas - Encarnación

The bus company Don Casimiro bought two Wadloper railcars and brought them by their own means from Pilar to Posadas. For this journey even missing rails on the 1435 mm gauge main line have been laid again.. The company wants to provide a shuttle service between Posadas and Encarnación (Paraguay) over the international rail and road bridge. The railcars have been refurbished and newly paint at Posadas and a new station has been built close to the customs offices. A similar station should also be built at Encarnación, but is suffering some delays despite active support by Paraguayan authorities. The new train service may get some relief to the intense road traffic over the bridge.
(Source: Volta o Trem 18-9)

Uruguay

Montevideo - 25 de Agosto

AFE operates again its Saturday train to 25 de Agosto, departure from Montevideo is at 08.30 and departure from 25 de Agosto is at 17.40. The train will again until March 2015.
(Source: Volta o Trem 18-9)

24.10.2014

Argentina

Buenos Aires - 25 de Mayo

With some delay Ferrobaires may begin with the operation of a railcar between Buenos Aires and 25 de Mayo in the last week of october. This service may run three times a week and the ticket price has been set at AR$ 60.
(Source: Volta o Trem 18-8)

Brazil

Sobral, Staat Ceará

October 22, 2014 the new Metro at Sobral, Ceará state initi-ated test operation. The Railway has two lines, one using a section of the existing freight Railway between Fortaleza and Teresina, the other was partially built on the alignment of the former railway to Camocim. Bom Sinal built DMU’s for this urban railway.
(Source: Volta o Trem 18-8)

Ecuador

Ibarra – Otavalo

Due to the lack of diesel railcars the line between Ibarra and Otavalo may be operated with the rehabilitated steam locomotive no. 18 of 1930. A second steam loco may arrive at Ibarra in 2015. Traffic to Otavalo may begin before the end of 2014.
(Source: Volta o Trem 18-8)

10.10.2014

Argentina

Posadas - Encarnación

The bus operator Don Casimiro is in the process of acquiring some Wadloper railcars which were formerly used by TBA in order to establish an international shuttle service between Posadas (Argentina) and Encarnación (Paraguay) across the international bridge. The operator would build temporary platforms at either side of the bridge and offer a 15 minute headway. Meanwhile, this news has been confirmed by the authorities of the Paraguayan department of Itapúa. There is a hope on both sides of the border that EBY (Empresa Binacional Yaciretá) will see to build permanent stations for passengers and freight in both border cities.
(Source: Fahrplancenter correspondents)

Buenos Aires Once – Bragado – Trenque Lauquén – Catriló – General Pico

On 03 October 2014 Trenes Argentinos/SOFSE took up their service Buenos Aires Once – Bragado – Trenque Lauquén – Catriló – General Pico. It is an extension of their service to Bragado with the outward journey leaving Buenos Aires on Friday evenings and the return journey starting on Sunday evenings from General Pico. The train consists of newly built Chinese coaches offering seating accommodation in First and Pullman classes, and it also features a sleeping car. Travel time over the 614 km long line takes 15 hours. After a long pause, a number of towns and villages west of Pehuajó (terminus of Ferrobaires trains) have been reconnected to the passenger railway network. This includes places like Beruti, Trenque Lauquén, Pellegrini, Catriló, Quemú Quemú and Dorila.
At Catriló, a railcar provides a connecting service to Santa Rosa, capital of the La Pampa province. No detailed timetable has been issued as yet, but travel time is expected to be slightly over 2 hours depending on the number of intermediate stations served.
As it is the case with other long-distance passenger trains, fares in the cheapest class are just about 40% of bus fares for the same journey. More and more mediums-sized and small towns are currently losing their bus connections due to a lack of interest from the part of bus operators to operate regional services; and only the re-introduction of rail services can fill the gap.
The province of La Pampa is already pressing to increase the number of weekly journeys, a request which in light of the impending national elections in 2015 may have a good chance to go through.
(Source: Trenes Argentinos, Satélite Ferroviario)

Buenos Aires Plaza Constitución - 25 de Mayo

Ferrobaires will re-introduce passenger train services from Buenos Aires Plaza Constitución to 25 de Mayo during the month of October. To this purpose, the train operator received a Nohab railcar which had been painted in the current Ferrobaires livery. A number of these now 60 years old railcars had been purchased by the Argentinian state some years ago second-hand from Portugal. It is planned that the service will run 3 times per week. The previous train service connecting Buenos Aires, 25 de Mayo and Bolívar ceased to operate in 2010 forced by lack of motive power and poor infrastructure. Ferrobaires has now refurbished the track as far as 25 de Mayo. Some months ago, regional bus operators terminated services to 25 de Mayo, a town of about 22'000 inhabitants!
(Source: Ferrobaires, Clarín)

Tandil - Gardey - Vela

At the start of August 2014, Ferrobaires resumed passenger service from Tandil to Gardey and Vela. This is a 45 km long section of the former Tandil – Tres Arroyos line. The train set used is the one of the Buenos Aires – Tandil service which stables over the weekend; one round-trip on Saturdays Tandil – Vela and back is scheduled. To be able to charge a slightly higher fare, this train is declared a tourist train. It appears, however, that this new travel option is highly accepted among the local population.
(Source: Ferrobaires)

Ferrocentral

The company Ferrocentral, operator of the trains from Buenos Aires to Córdoba and Tucumán as well as the metre-gauge trains around Córdoba, has been integrated into the state train operator Trenes Argentinos/SOFSE.
(Source: Ferrocentral)

Extensions around Buenos Aires

After the limited-stop trains between Buenos Aires Plaza Constitución and La Plata had been very well accepted by customers, Trenes Argentinos/SOFSE introduced similar services between Plaza Constitución and Cañuelas (1 round-trip/day Monday to Friday) and Plaza Constitución – Chascomús (2 round-trips/day Monday to Friday). Due to high demand, the trains to Chascomús have also been scheduled to call at Altamirano and Jeppener. Newly-built Chinese long-distance carriages cover these services and no standees are accepted.
(Source: Trenes Argentinos/SOFSE)

Infrastructureextensions Buenos Aires – Mar del Plata

Under state supervision and on behalf of the infrastructure owner ADIFSE, Ferrobaires is currently refurbishing various sections of the Buenos Aires – Mar del Plata line. Between Maipú and Mar del Plata work is about 80% complete, thus allowing increased speed and improved punctuality of trains for the peak season starting in December. The never opened avoiding line of Chascomús will finally be refurbished and completed by ADIFSE. Work also includes completion of the new “Ferroautomotor” station – a multi-modal hub – of Chascomús. The avoiding line will allow for the closure of a huge number of level crossings within the urban perimeter of Chascomús as the new line will only feature over- and underbridges but no level crossings.
(Source: Fahrplancenter correspondents, Ferrobaires)

Brazil

Twin Track Conversion of Estrada de Ferro Carajás EFC

Laying of double track on the Estrada de Ferro Carajás EFC of the Vale group is progressing rapidly. The state authority for land transport ANTT commissioned a significant number of completed sections and structures in the last week of September 2014. The project encompasses upgrading some 570 km of the 892 km long line to double-track standard, split in 48 different sections. Also, 55 existing passing loops will be modernised and extended, and 43 new bridges will be built, some of these to separate roads from railway tracks. Telecommunications, signalling and other equipment are also being upgraded to increase capacity of the line from 120 Mio tons per year to 230 Mio tons per year. This is a requirement once the new mines at Canaã dos Carajás are explored.
(Source: Revista Ferroviária)

Reservations Luziânia - Brasília

Somewhat unexpectedly, the state authority for land transport ANTT appears to have reservations towards establishing regional train service between Brasília and Luziânia. The study is being delayed and is expected to be complete in March 2015 only. Then, the ANTT will decide whether this project will go forward or not. Some of the reservations seem to come from the freight train operator FCA who prefers to run their trains without having to respect a passenger timetable. On the other hand, bus operators are wary about this potential competitor and they feel prompted to increase the bus fleet from 765 to 1405 units. Such a step would also include the replacement of old vehicles dating back to 1988. The worry of ANTT is, however, that train travel times would not be attractive given the fact that the alignment of the railway line is somewhat longer than the road and allows for a maximum speed of 20 to 30 km per hour only (although this refers to heavy freight trains). Nevertheless, FCA currently undertakes to repair the track. Public opinion in the Luziânia and Valparaíso municipalities shows utter disappointment as people are impatiently waiting for the new train service to be introduced.
(Source: Revista Ferroviária)

Regional Traffic Project Barra Mansa - Volta Redonda - Resende - Barra do Piraí

The municipalities of Barra Mansa, Volta Redonda, Resende and Barra do Piraí have proposed a new scheme to introduce regional train service in that part of the Paraíba valley. This densely populated area in the interior of the Río de Janeiro state had local train service during the era of the state railway RFFSA. The current project again envisages sharing the tracks of the quite intensively used freight railway line operated by MRS Logística.
(Source: Revista Ferroviária)

Test Run Natal – Nordelândia

On 18 September 2014, the first test runs with a 3-piece diesel railcar from Bom Sinal started on the CBTU line Natal – Nordelândia. It is the first of 12 such units which are being delivered to the suburban train system of Natal. The second unit will arrive in November with the remaining 10 due to be delivered during 2015. Together with the 2 new diesel locomotives, CBTU operations in Natal will be integrally modernised at the end of 2015. The lines Natal – Parnamirim (South line) and Natal – Nordelândia (part of the North line) will be operated exclusively by the Bom Sinal railcars while regional traffic Natal – Ceará Mirim will be operated by the new locomotives. On both lines, a number of new halts are under construction.
(Source: Revista Ferroviária)

Opening Retiro

On 25 August 2014, Retiro station of the new Metro has been opened, extending the line to 7,3 km in operation.
(Source: G1 – Bahia)

Opening Oratório - Vila Prudente

At the end of August, the first 3 km long section of the São Paulo monorail, linking Oratório with Vila Prudente, has been opened after a number of delays. However, operations of the line which runs about 15 metres above ground, are limited to test runs during just a few hours per day. It is hoped that the line will be operational on its full length of 26,6 km and 18 stations until 2017.
On the Metro system, the station of Fradique Coutinho on line 4 (yellow) has been opened at the end of September. The next stations to become operational are Oscar Freire at the end of 2014 and Higienópolis in March 2015.
(Source: G1 - SP)

Commissioning of electric miltiple units

Trensurb of Porto Alegre put the first of 15 new electric multiple units in service on 22 September 2014. The entire new fleet, built by CAF and Alstom, is expected to be available for daily service in February 2015. Extension of the fleet became necessary in order to cover services on the extended line to Novo Hamburgo.
(Source: Revista Ferroviária)

Theft of copper

The Metro de Recife is suffering from theft of copper cables, affecting both signalling and power supply cables. Damage caused by these thefts and train cancellations amounted to BRR 90'000 between January and June of the current year, and another damage of BRR 50'000 happened between July and September.
(Source: Revista Ferroviária)

Test Runs Santos – São Vicente

Test and training runs are taking place since early September with the new tram units between the stations Nossa Senhora das Graças and Prefeito José Monteiro of the line Santos – São Vicente. That section is 100% complete and the overhead line is under tension.
(Source: Fahrplancenter correspondents)

Pupil Transport in Tubarão

The municipalities of Içara and Tubarão are planning to shift pupil transport to the railway. After extensive negotiations between the involved municipalities, Santa Catarina state and the railway operator Ferrovia Tereza Cristina, the major hurdles appear to be overcome; and on 25 September 2014 the first test run of a pupil train took place. According to media reports everything went well and without any problems; and the railway company is looking forward to carry this segment of traffic. It is now envisaged to upgrade stations for the purpose and options are being explored. Expectations are that regular traffic can start at the end of 2014. Trains will consist of existing tourist train stock, hauled by a diesel locomotive.
(Source: G1 – SC)

Payment difficulty at Zamin

Early in September 2014, the 34 employees in charge of security at the Estrada de Ferro do Amapá EFA went on strike because their employer Zamin Mineração hadn't paid their wages since July. These employees are not directly employed by the railway but are under contract with Zamin. They are in particular responsible for the safe circulation of passenger trains on this line. The resident's association supports the demand of these employees. The mining company Zamin indicates cash-flow problems as a reason.
(Source: G1)

Only sporadic Traffic Palmas (Tocantins) – Anápolis (Goiás)

The Ferrovia Norte-Sul, opened on 22 May 2014, is still only sporadically used for traffic, in particular on the 855 km long section Palmas (Tocantins) – Anápolis (Goiás). The reason for this are a number of infrastructure problems. Erosion caused track settlements at a spot 55 km north of Anápolis and residents fear that derailments could occur. Bureaucratic hurdles are causing difficulties to the application of “finishing touches”, after the public accounts tribunal identified an excess of costs of almost BRR 200 Mio over budget during construction of the line. Furthermore, potential freight customers criticize that the still incomplete signalling system could lead to accidents.
(Source: TV Anhanguera)

Floods Trem des Termas

Severe flooding during the first months of this year caused damage to the track of the Trem das Termas in the Marcelino Ramos area. The operator ABPF Santa Catarina was able to completely repair the track within 8 weeks with the help of the freight concessionaire ALL. ALL provided heavy plant and also a diesel locomotive with freight wagons.
(Source: ABPF)

Floods Porto Velho

Flooding in the first months of 2014 caused severe damage to the museum and railway complex of Porto Velho. Since then, the operators of the power plants along the Rio Madeira have transferred monies from their social welfare fund to the culture fund Funcultural of the city of Porto Velho. At the end of September, tidying up work on the station/museum compound and along the line started. It will, however, not be possible to complete the work until the 100 year jubilee of the city on 02 October 2014 and they will continue for a further 3 months. The federal authority for protected monuments IPHAN as well as agencies of the Rondônia state are also contributing to the work.
(Source: G1)

Trem do Pantanal only Aquidauana – Miranda

Since 06 September 2014, the Trem do Pantanal has been limited to the section Aquidauana – Miranda, every second week outward on Saturdays and return on Sundays. The city of Campo Grande unsuccessfully protested against the shortening of the Trem do Pantanal route as they had invested BRR 1,6 Mio in 2009 in the upgrade of Indubrasil station on the outskirts of the city. The operator of the service, Serra Verde Express, refers to customer surveys which indicate that the westernmost section from Aquidauana is the most attractive one.
(Source: Aquidauana News)

Cuba

Opening Habana - Puerto de Mariel

On 01 July 2014, the new railway line linking Habana with Puerto de Mariel was opened. In fact, the new line uses the existing track from Habana to Almendares. From that point, the line was mostly built on an old railway alignment and only between Almendares and Punta Brava the line was built on a new trackbed along the motorway. An entirely new line is the section from Guanajay to Mariel, crossing a mountain range to reach the port located at a natural bay. The line is mostly double-track (not completely as yet), for example from Bauta until east of Caimito and again after the passage of Caimito until Guanajay. Trackwork is still incomplete within the Port of Mariel and currently, only a container terminal with 4 sidings is in operation. Apart of the Guanajay station, intermediate stations are still under construction with working progressing at fast pace. Signalling and interlockings are also under construction. Some branch lines will also be built. Top of the list is a connection from Guanajay to Artemisa for the traffic Mariel – Pinar del Rio, but at the moment it is still unclear whether the line via Lavandero or Puerta de Guira will be reconstructed. Then, at a future stage the existing line to San Antonio de los Banos should again continue via Ceiba del Agua to the Guanajay – Artemisa line in order to create a direct route for freight from the new Mariel port to the south line in the Cienfuegos direction. Both the railway line and the port were mainly built by the Brazilian contractor Odebrecht, the rails were sourced from China while the concrete sleepers were fabricated in Cuba itself.
Just a few days after the opening, a limited passenger service from Habana to Puerto de Mariel was introduced for the harbour workers. These services were covered by the new SV-10 railcars from Muromteplovoz, assembled at Cardenas. One month later, the state railway UFC also introduced a modest passenger service by railcars between Habana and Guanajay.
(Source: Granma and private sources)

Steam Locomotive No 1 “La Mabisita” refurbished

The former sugar cane railway at Rafael Freyre near the tourist town of Guardalavaca has totally refurbished their steam locomotive No 1 “La Mabisita”, built by Baldwin in 1882, and brought back in service. It is the oldest operational steam locomotive of Cuba and it is planned to offer special trains to the tourists staying at Guardalavaca.
The narrow gauge network around Rafael Freyre is currently used by passenger trains only to connect the numerous small villages of the region. To that purpose, the railcar No 50, built in 1938, has been completely refurbished and brought back to service in September 2014. At this time, railcar No 12 is in process of thoroughly being repaired. The Rafael Freyre network has a total of three railcars in their park which serve the lines to Progreso, Altuna and La Sierra from Santa Lucia several times per week.
(Source: teveo.icrt.cu)

Mexico

Diesel Locomotives SD70Ace ordered

The railway companies Ferromex and Ferrosur have placed a joint order with EMD in the United States for 34 diesel locomotives of the SD70Ace class. Ferromex will get 19 locomotives, and this represents already the third batch of engines from EMD to that operator. Ferrosur will receive the remaining 15 new locomotives, but in this case these will be the first EMD engines as Ferrosur only operated locomotives from General Electric. Both railways have contracted the manufacturer for the maintenance with a duration of 11 years. Delivery is expected to start from June 2015, and the locomotives will meet the most recent emission standards applicable in the United States from 01 January 2015, although Mexico applies these standards to road vehicles only.
(Source: Railwayage)

Ferrocarril Tijuana & Tecate is under modernisation

The Ferrocarril Tijuana & Tecate FCT & T in the far northwest of Mexico is currently under modernisation. A stretch of 2,5 km will be completely relaid, and on an other 30 km a number of 60'000 new sleepers will be fitted. The last bits of 100 years old rails will also be replaced. The El Matucano bridge and tunnel no. 3 will both be fully refurbished. Tijuana railway station will be extended with 4 additional tracks and a transfer and storage shed will be built at Garcia station. Volume of investment by FCT&T is about MX$ 200 Mio.
(Source: Frontera Info)

Infrastructurprojects in Baja California

The Governor of the Baja California state, Francisco Vega de la Madrid, has contacted the government of South Korea as well as major firms of that Asian country in order to attract investors for infrastructure projects in his state. The focus is on railway construction. Items on the list of projects are the re-introduction of passenger trains between Tijuana and Tecate, the construction of a railway line from Tecate to Ensenada for passenger trains to the new airport at Ensenada, but also to connect the new port of El Sauzal. Apart of this, a few road projects and improvements of water and power supply in the region are also part of the scheme. The governor hopes to create some 47'000 jobs with these projects.
(Source: Frontera Info)

Paraguay

Posadas - Encarnación

The bus operator Don Casimiro is in the process of acquiring some Wadloper railcars which were formerly used by TBA in order to establish an international shuttle service between Posadas (Argentina) and Encarnación (Paraguay) across the international bridge. The operator would build temporary platforms at either side of the bridge and offer a 15 minute headway. Meanwhile, this news has been confirmed by the authorities of the Paraguayan department of Itapúa. There is a hope on both sides of the border that EBY (Empresa Binacional Yaciretá) will see to build permanent stations for passengers and freight in both border cities.
(Source: Fahrplancenter correspondents)

Uruguay

Local Traffic Las Piedras - Progreso

On the 1st October 2014, the state railway AFE has extended its local traffic from Montevideo beyond Las Piedras to Progreso. There are now 7 round-trips Monday to Friday to Progreso, operated by railcars, and one additional round-trip to Las Piedras, also by railcar. The two locomotive-hauled trains between Montevideo and 25 de Agosto keep running, however, the locomotive-hauled diagram from Montevideo to Progreso has been withdrawn in favour of the railcar.
Spare parts have been sourced for the two Alsthom locomotives hauling the trains to 25 de Agosto which may indicate that this connection will be maintained during the next few years.
(Source: Fahrplancenter correspondents)

27.09.2014

Argentina

Buenos Aires Once - Santa Rosa

SOFSE and Ferrobaires are planning to reintroduce long-distance passenger trains between Buenos Aires Once and Santa Rosa in La Pampa province, Ferrobaires is currently repairing the tracks between Pehuajó and Santa Rosa.
(Source: Volta o Trem 18-7)

Empalme Lobos - 25 de Mayo

Ferrobaires is currently repairing the line from Emaplme Lobos to 25 de Mayo to introduce a passenger service with an Allan railcar (ex-CP of Portugal).
(Source: Volta o Trem 18-7)

Chascomús - Buenos Aires

SOFSE introduced together with Trenes Argentinos fast trains from Chascomús to Buenos Aires (2 pairs per day Monday to Friday) and between Cañuelas and Buenos Aires (1 pair per day Monday to Friday) using new Chinese-built long-distance rolling-stock.
(Source: Volta o Trem 18-7)

Buenos Aires - Rosario

For the introduction of a new faster passenger train service between Buenos Aires and Rosario and great new station may be built at Rosario Sur at a cost of over US£ 4,3mio.
(Source: Volta o Trem 18-7)

Chile

Santiago - Concepción 

State Railways EFE are considering to build a fast passenger train line from Santiago to Concepción using the existing Santiago - Chillán line and by rebuilding the existing Chillán - Tomé - Concepción line including some realignments. The journey for the approximately 500 km long line may be a little over 4 hours, which would be equal to a trip by air.
(Source: Volta o Trem 18-7)

Valparaíso

Valparaíso suburban railway MERVAL examines the possibility to build a branch to the North serving fast growing suburbs.
(Source: Volta o Trem 18-7)

Ecuador

Lack of rolling-stock

Due to the lack of rolling-stock FEEP reduced the offer of regular train services. Durán - Yaguachi and Quito - Latacunga are currently not operating as it is the case with the railcar between Ibarra and Salinas. For the same reason opening of the Ibarra - Otavalo line was postponed.
(Source: Volta o Trem 18-7)

27.07.2014

Argentina

Tren Patagonico

Tren Patagonico reinstated the local passenger service be-tween Ingeniero G. Jacobacci (dep. early morning) and San Carlos de Baroliche (dep. in the evening). The TER railcar operates Tuesday and Thursday in both directions.
(Source: Volta o Trem 18-6)

Realicó – General Pico

SOFSE/Ferrocarril Unión Pacífico put a passenger train into operation between Realicó and General Pico from 26 July 2014 on. The weekly railcar from Bragado to Realicó has been extended to General Pico, so La Pampa province can again be reached by train. The 85 km long section between Realicó and Gen. Pico has not seen passenger operations since the late 1970s.
(Source: Volta o Trem 18-6)

Pehuajó - Santa Rosa

Ferrobaires was running a test train from Pehuajó to Santa Rosa to evaluate the extent of additional repairs on this section, which was submerged by floods for a longer period in the region of Trenque Lauquén. Probably from the end of 2014 it is planned to operate a weekly passenger train from Buenos Aires to Santa Rosa (Province La Pampa).
(Source: Volta o Trem 18-6)

Ferrobaires - Tandil

Ferrobaires operates a weekly tourist train from 2 August 2014 on over the 25 km between Tandil and Gardey on a section of the line to Tres Arroyos. The train operates every Saturday using rolling-stock of the Buenos Aires-Tandil train.
(Source: Volta o Trem 18-6)

Tren a las Nubes

Tren a las Nubes operator Ecotren lost its operating license after derailment of the train on 19 July 2014. No fatalities have been registered on this event, but the train is no longer running for an unknown period. There are plans to transfer the license to Salta province for this popular tourist train.
(Source: Volta o Trem 18-6)

Brazil

Vitória - Belo Horizonte

From 5 August 2014 passenger trains between Vitória and Belo Horizonte will operate with the Romanian-built coaches, which are offering air-condition in all classes. Fares remains unchanged.
(Source: Volta o Trem 18-6)

Peru

Tren Macho

Tren Macho was put back into service July 14, 2014 over the entire Huancayo – Huancavelica line. The trains runs new Monday, Wednesday and Friday from Huancayo and Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday from Huancavelica. Rollingstock maintenance may be carried out on Sundays.
(Source: Volta o Trem 18-6)

Uruguay

Wadloper railcars

There are rumors that AFE want to buy some Wadloper railcars which have formerly been used by TBA from Argentina. A price of US$1mio. was stated for the rundown vehicles.
(Source: Volta o Trem 18-6)

29.06.2014

Argentina

Transport Politics

The recently nationalised railway lines in Argentina are gradually being integrated into a new public corporation under the name of “Trenes Argentinos”. At this time, it consists of the freight train operator Belgrano Cargas y Logística SA, parts of SOFSE (Tren de la Costa and the suburban section of the Sarmiento system) and also parts of the infrastructure authority ADIF. The San Martín (broad gauge) and Urquiza (standard gauge) appear to be fully integrated in Trenes Argentinos already.
(Source: El Reportero Ferroviario)

26.06.2014

Argentina

Tucumán – Concepción

For many years, the Tucumán region was fed with promises about improvements in rail transport, however, nothing ever happened. The rehabilitation of the Tucumán – Concepción line was abandoned in 2004, without any reasons given and after spending 8 Mio ARP. This would have been a local rail connection. Years later, the regional line Tucumán – Tafi Viejo was inaugurated with much pomp, but not even the inauguration train left Tucumán station – a work in progress of its own – because the level crossings across the city hadn't been upgraded yet. Just the Tafi Viejo station looked shiny new...
The Tafi Viejo workshops finally resumed business in 2014, and a few locomotives have been repaired. It is planned to repair some 4000 freight wagons in these workshops.
A multimodal freight hub is due to be built at Cevil Pozo as a link between rail, road and air freight. Works are expected to start in the second half of 2014.
The government intends to use funds from the loan granted by the chinese government (a total of 2,47 billions US$ for the metre-gauge network) for the rehabilitation of the line to Concepción. There was nothing said, however, about what will happen to the squatters currently dwelling on the track alignment.
(Source: El Intransigente)

Mendoza – Los Andes

Quite some confusion exists among the people living along the old Transandine Railway (Mendoza – Los Andes) as more and more parts of that railway are being dismantled in the Las Cuevas area. Two firms are involved, and they have already extracted many tons of wood and sheet metal roofing. Not even station buildings are saved. The two firms were denounced by members of the public, however, they were able to provide documentation which allowed them to dismantle the materials and export it to Chile. Allegedly, those firms paid 1,5 Mio US$ for it.
(Source: Diario Uno)

Buenos Aires – Pilar

The San Martín suburban line Buenos Aires – Pilar was extended on 08 May 2014, the new stations being Manzanares and Dr. Domingo Cabred.
(Source: Corredores Ferroviarios Argentinos)

Buenos Aires Retiro - Rosario Sur

In June 2014, a full rake of newly-built chinese long-distance carriages was on exhibition and open for public viewing at Rosario Norte railway station. These trains are expected to operate from 2015 between Buenos Aires (Retiro) and Rosario Sur (Apeadero Groenewold) once track relay works between the two city will be completed.
(Source: Fahrplancenter correspondents)

Bragado - Realicó - General Pico

SOFSE is planning to extend its Bragado – Realicó service to General Pico. This would satisfy the long-standing call from the La Pampa province to be connected by rail.
(Source: SOFSE and others)

Buenos Aires – Córdoba And Buienos Aires – Tucumán

The night trains Buenos Aires – Córdoba and Buenos Aires – Tucumán, currently operated by Ferrocentral, can't be booked any more via the internet. No reason for this has been given, but local sources assume that both services will be integrated into the public corporation SOFSE. This is expected to happen within the next months, up to the completion of track renewals between Buenos Aires and Rosario at the latest.
(Source: Ferrocentral and Satélite Ferroviario)

Tourist trains

The operator of the narrow gauge La Trochita steam railway in Chubut province is carrying out some extensive track repair work between Esquel and El Maitén; the stations of Leleque and Lepa have already been fully renovated. The entire railway (track, stations, rolling stock and the El Maitén workshops) has been listed as a historical monument. After completion of the track repair it is planned to operate an increasing number of charter trains over the full length of 200 km.
(Source: Fahrplancenter correspondents)

Rio Turbio

The coal railway of Rio Turbio was forced to cease operations on 22 April 2014 until further notice. Reason for this was a defect on the last operational FAUR diesel locomotive which broke down in the middle of nowhere (at about km 100) while hauling a laden freight train. Warnings that this may happen were issued from 2010 on, as there were just 3 locomotives in operational condition at that time. Delegates from the railway travelled to Bucharest in order to arrange and negotiate the purchase of 10 second-hand locomotives (5 mainline and 5 shunters) for the 750 mm track gauge. However, only one mainline and one shunting engine arrived at the Port of Buenos Aires where they are still awaiting customs clearance. Repeatedly, calls for refurbishment of some of steam locomotives were made and one of them was sent in 2003 to the Pérez workshops in Santa Fe province for that purpose, but nothing has ever been done to it. Nothing happened after an announcement that 10 brand new narrow gauge locomotives would be purchased for this railway. The staff fear that this means the end for the railway.
In June 2014 technicians from the Czech Republic travelled to Rio Turbio in order to assess the possibilities of repairing the locomotives.
(Source: El Reportero Ferroviario)

Serrezuela – Chamical

The metre-gauge line Serrezuela (Córdoba province) – Chamical (La Rioja province) will be re-opened to traffic in 2015. A logistics hub for air freight is being built at Chamical with the rail mode feeding the goods as rail freight is 60 per cent cheaper than road haulage. For this purpose, that line which hasn't been used for 20 years is currently under repair.
(Source: El Reportero Ferroviario)

Bolivia

Empresa Ferroviaria Oriental

Passenger train service on the east Bolivian network has been curtailed. While there is just one weekly round-trip on the southern line (Santa Cruz de la Sierra – Yacuíba) – a mixed train for passengers and freight – the timetable between Santa Cruz de la Sierra and Puerto Quijarro at the border to Brazil has been considerably thinned. The Expreso Oriental and the Ferrobus do three round-trips each per week. No services run on Saturdays, and the Tren Regional (all-stopper) has ceased to run altogether.
Completion of the road between Santa Cruz de la Sierra and Puerto Suárez had a devastating impact on passenger figures. There were 547'000 passengers carried in 2007 while in 2013 there were just 78'883 passengers using the trains. Freight traffic, on the other hand, increased some 17% from 2012 to 2013, reaching the figure of 1'535'306 tons.
(Source: FCO)

Areal cableway La Paz - El Alto

At the end of April 2014, state president Evo Morales inaugurated the highest aerial cableway in the world. The line connects La Paz with the suburb of El Alto, located at about 4000m above sea level. It is composed of 3 sections with an overall length of 10,7 km and resting on 77 pylons. The 443 cabins, carrying 10 passengers each, provide a capacity of 3000 passengers per hour in either direction. This will take some pressure off the congested roads. Starting point is at the former main railway station of La Paz. It was built in record time by the Austrian manufacturer Doppelmayr and cost US$ 235 Mio.
(Source: Fahrplancenter correspondents)

Brazil

Passenger Traffic

In order to promote projects for regional trains, the national administration for land transport (ANTT) created the “Empresa Brasileira dos Transportes Terrestres/EBTT”. Depending on each route, the new company will rehabilitate and operate lines by themselves or source out operations to private firms. EBTT will also co-ordinate all passenger transport related matters between the competent ministries and rail operators. At the top of the list are the lines São Luis – Itapecuru, Maringá – Londrina, Caxias do Sul – Bento Gonçalves and Pelotas – Rio Grande. It is, however, somewhat obscure why the Brasilia – Luziânia project hasn't been integrated into EBTT, as detail planning on that line is currently under way. It is expected that works on the aforementioned lines will start in 2015 while opening is envisaged to happen between 2016 and 2018. The funds for this have been reserved.
(Source: Revista Ferroviaria)

Modernisation long distance Traffic

The Estrada de Ferro Vitória a Minas received in May 2014 a fleet of 56 newly-built passenger carriages, manufactured by Astra Vagoane Arad in Romania. They are currently being commissioned for the daily Belo Horizonte – Vitória passenger train. The current fleet will still be used on the Desembargador Drummond – Itabira branch line. Another batch of 44 new carriages, also built by Astra Vagoane Arad, will be delivered to the Estrada de Ferro Carajás. With this, the two passenger trains in Brazil with the longest journeys will be fully modernised.
(Source: Fahrplancenter correspondents)

Porto Alegre

Commercial service on the extension of the suburban railway of Porto Alegre, Trensurb, started on 8 May 2014, connecting the stations of Industrial, Fenac and Novo Hamburgo with the city centre. Local residents along that stretch of line were able to use the trains at certain hours from December 2013, and scheduled train service to Novo Hamburgo was available from April 2014 between 0500 and 2300 hours, however, their use was free during that period.
(Source: Revista Ferroviária)

Cuiabá – Varzea Grande

Delivery of trainsets for the new Light Rail Cuiabá – Varzea Grande is currently taking place. At the start of May 2014, 29 of the 40 trains which are being built by CAF in Spain had already been received at the Varzea Grande depot, 2 had just cleared customs at Santos port and another 4 were on their way overseas to Santos. Opening of the line had to be postponed until 2015 due to construction delays.
(Source: Revista Ferroviária)

Açailândia – Anápolis

After a construction time of 27 years and a delay of 3,5 years, state president Dilma Rousseff officially opened the last section of the 1574 km long Norte-Sul railway line (Açailândia – Anápolis) on 23 May 2014. This new line connects the federal states of Maranhão, Tocantins and Goiás. At Açailândia, it branches off the Estrada de Ferro Carajás which also has the 1600mm broad gauge.
Currently under construction is an extension of the Norte-Sul from Anápolis via Ouro Verde to Estrela d'Oeste in the western part of São Paulo state; and further extensions are planned in the north to Belém and in the south to Panorama, Chapecó and Rio Grande.
(Source: Globo TV, ANTT)

Chile

 Santiago - Rancagua

Trenes Metropolitanos will increase the number of train on weekends during the holiday period in July between Santiago and Rancagua to satisfy the heavy demand. Construction of the new suburban railway between the two cities led to a significant service reduction which in its turn caused a severe drop in passenger numbers during the last 12 months. There will also be an additional daily train from Chillán to Santiago and an extra train on Fridays from Santiago to Chillán.
(Source: Fahrplancenter correspondents)

alcahuano – Laja

On 26 June 2014, the Minister for Transport inaugurated the renovated railway station of San Rosendo on the Talcahuano – Laja line. This is the first station to receive a comprehensive upgrade along the so-called “Corto de Laja” line. During July 2014, renovation work on the stations and halts of Gomero, Unihue, Quilacoya, Los Acacios, Valle Chanco, San Miguel, Laja, Buenuraqui andTalcamávida will be completed.
(Source: Fahrplancenter correspondents)

Combined ticket in Conceción and Valparaíso

Within the next two years, integrated tariff systems will be implemented in the metropolitan areas of Concepción and Valparaíso (Biotren and MERVAL). Customers will then be able to use suburban trains and urban buses with one and the same ticket.
(Source: Fahrplancenter correspondents)

Suburban railway Santiago

The new suburban railway Santiago – Nós – Rancagua will only be opened in the second half of 2015, according to the new President of the state railway Grupo EFE. The reason for this delay of about 6 to 8 months is the re-advertisement of construction works as a consequence of detected irregularities in the originally awarded global contract. Construction will now be done in stages, with 70 per cent already completed.
As it has been envisaged, the opening of the suburban railway Santiago – Melipilla will take place in 2016 as the track and station works are running according to plan.
EFE have expressed their discontent with the new Alstom trains for the 2 lines. Allegedly, they were rather built as per the ideas of the manufacturer than in accordance with desires and guidelines of EFE. Therefore, the order for the trains to Melipilla was cancelled and a new procurement process will be advertised.
Grupo EFE has been commissioned by the Ministry for Transport to make proposals about an improvement of the Concepción local traffic. Potential options are express bus lines, tramways or a subway system, all of them connecting to the suburban railway Biotren.
As planned, the extension of the Biotren south line to Coronel will be opened during 2015.
According to EFE, a viability study for local traffic between Osorno and Puerto Montt showed positive results. Some funds are reserved in the 2014 – 2016 three-year plan, and completion appears to be realistic in the 2017 – 2019 plan. It is, however, unclear whether and when a long-distance train Santiago – Puerto Montt could run again. The analysis for this were positive, but everything else is still open.
At the end of the current year, detail planning for a suburban railway from Santiago to Batuco is expected to be complete, with construction work to start in 2015 and a tentative opening date in 2019.
(Source: Grupo EFE, El Mercurio)

Freight Traffic

The traffic volume handled by the freight train operator FEPASA on the broad gauge network of Chile has remained at a stable level of 10,4 Mio tons per year over the last 10 years, but this represents a share of just 4% of the market. Grupo EFE, therefore, intends to strengthen their position in co-operation with its freight subsidiary FEPASA. Track upgrades, though primarily intended for better passenger train service, will be beneficial to freight trains as well as they allow for higher speeds of the latter. It is also urgent to improve connections to commercial ports of the region as this would generate an important volume of freight. Top on the list are the ports of Valparaíso and San Antonio with improvements to the tune of US$ 300 Mio.
(Source: Grupo EFE, El Mercurio)

Cuba

Ferrocarriles de CUBA UFC

Management of the state railway Unión de los Ferrocarriles de Cuba (UFC) has been taken over by the army, because the civil administration was more and more involved in corruption, insufficient production and bad planning.
(Source: Source not to be disclosed)

New Passenger Carrieages

It has been announced that the fleet of 240 new passenger carriages for national long-distance trains will be acquired from China in batches of about 50 units per year. Media reports are contradicting each other as sometimes figures of 50 units are mentioned and sometimes 60. Again, some sources speak of 2014 as earliest delivery date and others say it would be in the first six months of 2015.
(Source: Granma)

No Lubricants

All locomotive-hauled trains in the Santa Clara region had to be withdrawn at the start of June 2014. The only reason for this was that no lubricants were allocated to the province!
(Source: Granma)

Peru

New diesel Locomotives M629 for PeruRail

The south Peruvian railway company PeruRail has ordered a batch of 4 newly-built diesel locomotives from Sygnet Rail Technologies. These locomotives are of the M629 type, will be powered by a Cummings QSK engine and have an output of 1800 hp. They will be used on the three-foot narrow gauge railway Cuzco – Machu Picchu and are said to be the most low-emission locomotives in South America as they fully comply with the norms laid down in the Kyoto Protocol.
(Source: Railway Gazette International)

Britsh Projects

A group of six British companies has presented a project to Proinversión, the Peruvian state authority for privatisation and investments. This includes the construction of lines 3 and 4 of the Metro Lima, a monorail through Arequipa and takeover of the Tren Macho Huancayo – Huancavelíca. The project is currently under scrutiny by the government.
(Source: Fahrplancenter correspondents)

Uruguay

AFE in crisis

The state railway AFE is in a serious financial crisis. It has asked support from the government to the tune of US$ 10 Mio in order to pay the wages of active staff and also of some 300 inactive employees.
Maintenance work is urgent as for example the replacement of sleepers on the bridge over the Río Taquarí or repair of locomotives.
It is expected that freight tonnage in 2014 will drop to about 800'000 tons from slightly over 1 Mio tons in 2013. And this happens in a time of economic upswing!
One of the mainline tracks at Sayago station is currently being relaid.
The new freight traffic operator Servicios Logísticos Ferroviarios (SLF) is supposed to start operations on 1 July 2014. AFE holds a share of 51% in SLF. Because SLF neither has its own workforce nor any rolling stock, AFE has to provide all this and will bill SLF.
(Source: Fahrplancenter correspondents)

09.06.2014

Argentina

Pilar - Dr. Domingo Cabred

Corredores Ferroviarios San Martin Line extended the sub-urban service by two new stations from Pilar to Dr. Domingo Cabred, this section is now served by 14 trains on weekdays and 12 on Sundays.
(Source: Volta o Trem 18-5)

Viedma - San Carlos de Bariloche

Early May Tren Patagonico reinstated its direct service bet-ween Viedma and San Carlos de Bariloche, after a gap of 5 months. On the other side the Ing. G. Jacobacci – San Carlos de Bariloche local was again suspended.
(Source: Volta o Trem 18-5)

Brazil

CBTU Natal

CBTU Natal got the first new PR7 locomotive built new by Progress Rail in Brazil with the number 1401. It is the first time that CBTU is introducing brand-new locomotives for these suburban services.
(Source: Volta o Trem 18-5)

Bonde Santa Teresa

Reconstruction of the Bonde (Tramway) Santa Teresa in Rio de Janeiro has only reached 25%, this means that this histo-rical tramway will not be available for the Football World Cup.
(Source: Volta o Trem 18-5)

Santos - São Vicente

The new tramway between Santos and São Vicente makes some progress, too few to be put into operation until the World Cup, but inauguration is expected for the change of the year 2014/2015. The trains have been delivered and are stored in operational condition at São Vicente and local residents are awaiting the opening of the line impatiently. Fares will be identical to those of the bus services.
(Source: Volta o Trem 18-5)

Metro Salvador

June 11, 2014 will see the opening of the first 7,3 km long section of line 1 of the Metro at Salvador between Lapa and Retiro. Until Sept. 15 trips will be for free. Construction took 15 years. The Retiro-Pirajá section will open January 2015.
(Source: Volta o Trem 18-5)

Panama

Underground railway in Ciudad de Panamá

The first Central-American underground railway opened April 5, 2014 in Panama City. The 14 km long line runs from the suburb of San Miguelito to the centrally located bus terminal Albrook. The line serves 13 stations and the journey time is 23mins. Construction costs have been 1,8bn US$ and accor-ding to government sources fares may not exceed 1 US$.
(Source: Volta o Trem 18-5)

Peru

Huancayo Chilca - Cuenca

Since June 2 a Kinki railcar runs again on the Tren Macho line between Huancayo and Cuenca (Km 56) Mondays to Saturdays. The remaining section to Huancavelica, which was heavily affected by floods in January is under recon-struction.
(Source: Volta o Trem 18-5)

19.04.2014

Argentina

Basavilbaso - Villaguay - Concordia

SOFSE reinstated services between Basavilbaso, Villaguay and Concordia. Unfortunately people started to through stones against the railcar, which forced the company to tun the railcar until Yeruá only, 19 km south of Concordia.
(Source: Volta o Trem 14-4)

Chile

Earthquakes

The many earthquackes and the catastrophic fire at Valparaíso have not affected the railways in the South of Chile, the Valparaíso Ascensores escaped too.
Saturday April 19, 2014 the tourist train El Valdiviano will run again. It will be run with steam traction and serve the stations of Valdivia, Pishuinco, Huellelhue and Antilhue. The same day the „Tren del Recuerdo“ tourist train will operate between Santiago, Talagante, Melipilla and San Antonio. This train will run with vintage coaches from the 1920s and a historic diésel locomotive.
(Source: Volta o Trem 14-4)

Peru

Tren Macho

Rehabilitation of the railway between Huancayo and Huancavelica, , is under way after the disastrous floods in January 2014and it is expected that the train “El Macho” may run again from late May or early June on. The national transport secretary announced plans to rent railcars to improve the service and that there are plans to run a regularly scheduled mixed train for freight and passengers over the whole line from Lima to Huancavelica to improve connections between Lima and the Mantaro Valley.
(Source: Volta o Trem 14-4)

05.04.2014

Argentina

Basavilbaso – Villaguay – Concordia

Since a fire of unknown reasons destroyed the Materfer built railcar which operated between Basavilbaso, Villaguay and Concordia, this service remains suspended. State railway operator SOFSE was not able to send a replacement railcar from existing spare rolling-stock at Paraná to reinstate this important service.
(Source: Volta o Trem 14-3)

Chile

Rancagua Express

Apart of the already existing Alstom-built 39 XTrapolis EMU’s for Valparaíso’s MERVAL and the Santiago-Rancagua Rancagua Express state railways EFE ordered another 12 identical trains, 8 for MERVAL and 4 for Rancagua Express, which may be delivered in 2015.
(Source: Volta o Trem 14-3)

Earthquakes

The heavy earthquakes of the first days in April 2014 in the North of Chile not only damaged heavily the access roads to Iquique, also the mostly unused railway down to the city of Iquique has been declared as no longer in useable conditions.
(Source: Volta o Trem 14-3)

Mexico

Ocoyoacac - Cuajimalpa

The Mexican Secretary for Communication and Transport invited Tenders for construction of the 4,6 km long tunnel between Ocoyoacac and Cuajimalpa early April 2014. The planned passenger train line México City – Toluca will pass through this tunnel. Earlier on construction of the 36 km long section from Zinacantepec (in Toluca) to the tunnel was called for tenders and the remaining section of 18 km from the tunnel to the Observatório station at México City will follow soon. The entire line follows mostly the existing line but will be doble tracked and electrified. Four intermediate stations will be built and opening is planned for 2017.
(Source: Volta o Trem 14-3)

27.03.2014

Argentina

Suburban and local traffic

The Mitre and San Martín suburban lines in and around Buenos Aires have been re-grouped in the new company Corredores Ferroviarios S.A. (COFESA). This is in fact a proper privatisation as the only shareholder of COFESA is the Grupo Roggio. The Grupo Roggio also owns Metrovías, operator of the standard-gauge suburban line from Federico Lacroze station to General Lemos, the Subte (Underground) network and the Premetro line P.
The Grupo Roggio, headed by Benito Roggio, has other business activities in fields like tourism, construction, refuse collection, water supply, sewage, technology, IT and more.
(Source: COFESA)

Universidad Católica

On 17th February 2014 the state railway SOFSE opened the new halt Universidad Católica east of Salta on the Salta - Güemes line. That stop had been promised to students since the introduction of local trains on the line. As currently no additional rolling stock is available, the timetable just offers 2 round-trips Monday to Friday (one on Saturdays) and the trains are usually 100% full as SOFSE doesn't allow standees. An improvement will only be possible once SOFSE has refurbished another DMU and transfers it from Resistencia (Chaco) to Salta.
(Source: Radio Salta)

La Plata – Avellaneda

The new Secretary for Planning and Public Services of the Buenos Aires province, Mr Franco La Porta, has annonced the reconstruction and reopening of the metre-gauge line La Plata – Avellaneda, closed in 1977. The track alignment, built over at a couple of locations and with the tracks partially dismantled, had been transferred in 1993 to Ferrobaires, but they have so far failed to produce any viable project. The first stage should be the line from the Estación Provincial on the outskirts of the town to the station San Francisco Solano in the southwest of Quilmes municipality at a cost of about US$ 40 Mio. The second stage of the line – overall length 51 km – between San Francisco Solano and Avellaneda will be more difficult because many squatters have settled on the track and erected their dwellings. Estimated passenger demand, once the line is fully operational, is 18 Mio journeys per year. However, the project is being criticised from many parts because the line doesn't reach the city centres at either end of the line, neither La Plata nor Buenos Aires. It remains to be seen if this project will be realised.
(Source: La Nación)

Buenos Aires - Junín

Ferrobaires resumed traffic on its Buenos Aires to Junín line on 3rd February 2014 after an interruption of exactly two months. However, services operated just twice a week instead of 6 journeys per week before. Even that was very short-lived: only three weeks later, services were cancelled again after the only available locomotive for this train became defective. Apparently, the Junín – Alberdi section has been abandoned altogether and it is doubtful if Ferrobaires has the resources to operate that line permanently.
(Source: Ferrobaires, Fahrplancenter)

Buenos Aires Once - Lincoln

In mid-February, Ferrobaires terminated its services from Buenos Aires Once and Lincoln after several temporary interruptions in the recent past. The company is struggling to maintain service from Buenos Aires Once to Bragado and Pehuajó. The state railway SOFSE now offers train service to Lincoln and onwards to Realicó, once a week.
(Source: Ferrobaires, Fahrplancenter)

Buenos Aires Retiro - Rosario

The Minister of Transport, Mr Florencio Randazzo, has announced that the new long-distance service from Buenos Aires Retiro and Rosario will start during 2015. Track renewal work is expected to be completed in the first six months of 2015. In a first phase, trains will terminate at the Rosario Sur/Apeadero Groenewold halt. After that, the dwellers in the shantytowns along the track alignment through the city will be relocated so that, at a later stage, trains can again reach the current station Rosario Norte. In the meantime, plans to re-use the Rosario Central Córdoba station have been abandoned.
(Source: Agencia Rieles)

Infrastructure

On the San Martín suburban line, the third stage of platform heightening works has begun so that the platforms can accommodate the new trains. Currently, the chinese-built trains can only serve Buenos Aires Retiro, Villa del Parque, Devoto, Saenz Peña, José C. Paz, Sol y Verde, Presidente Derqui, Villa Astolfi and Pilar.
Track renovation on the Mitre line has now reached suburban traffic from Buenos Aires. At present, timetables on the electrified lines remain unchanged, but as per 17th March 2014 timetables were drastically reduced on the diesel-operated lines Villa Ballester – Zárate and Victoria – Matheu – Capilla del Señor in order to facilitate track works. It has, however, not been communicated for how long these reductions will be in place.
(Source: COFESA)

Brazil

Paraíba

The city of João Pessoa in the Paraíba state has been allocated BRR 566 Mio from a fund created for improvements of local traffic in seven cities in the centre and north of Brasil. The total amount available from this fund in 2014 is BRR 3,8 billions. The city will spend this money in upgrading its public transport system, investing BRR 166 Mio in the suburban line operated by CBTU. This will be in addition to the BRR 70 Mio which have been provided for the purchase of 8 new VLT (diesel trainsets) from Bom Sinal. The new investment will allow for construction of 4 additional stations in the Santa Rita, João Pessoa and Cabedelo municipalities, the relocation of Bayeux and Jacaré stations to better suitable locations, track renewal, fencing of the line and improvements of level crossings in order to enhance safety. These works, taking place until late 2015, will modernise the line, increase its productivity and double the daily demand to 30'000 passenger journeys. Other measures include improvements of the urban bus system, leading to a better integration with the railway and the erection of several rail/bus interchanges.
(Source: CBTU)

Alagoas

In February 2014, president Dilma Rousseff granted BRR 400 Mio from the “Program to accelerate growth” (PAC2) to the Alagoas state, a sum which never in the past had been made available to that relatively small federal state in the northeast of Brazil. The money is destined to improvements of public transport in the Alagoas municipalities. One of the beneficiaries will be the CBTU suburban line of Maceió, receiving BRR 206,5 Mio. The money will be used for further securing the track to avoid flood damage in the Satuba municipality. In the past ten years, the line was severely disrupted there on four occasions. Also, overbridges will be built for 4 heavily transited roads, and another 23 level crossings will be fitted with barriers or flashing lights. 13 stations will be integrally modernised, and construction of the new line to Mangabeiras with 4 stations will finally commence.
(Source: CBTU, Fahrplancenter archive)

Rio Grande do Norte

The municipality of São Gonçalo do Amarante outside of Natal is currently the town with highest level of economic growth in the Rio Grande do Norte state. In the near future, the new airport of the Natal region will be built within the boundaries of that same municipality. Recently, the suburban train operator CBTU, the city of Natal and the municipality of São Gonçalo do Amarante have agreed to build a new railway line from Natal to São Gonçalo while the new airport is under construction. That line will serve two purposes, one of it providing access to the airport and the other establishing suburban traffic to Natal. The track alignment has been reserved in the local planning schemes.
(Source: CBTU)

Minas Gerais

The Metrô of Belo Horizonte experienced in 2013 a growth of its passenger numbers of 13,5% over the previous year; that's an increase of about 7 Mio passenger journeys. In total, 57,4 Mio passengers used the single metro line of the city which spans from Eldorado (Contagem municipality, in the west) via Gamaleira, Calafate, the centre of Belo Horizonte, Santa Inês and São Gabriel to Villarinho in the north.
(Source: CBTU)

Cuba

Habana - San Antonio de los Baños

More and more of the new russian railcars are in daily service. Press reports mention a number of currently 7 round-trips between Habana and San Antonio de los Baños, although it is being criticised that the single units which offer just 45 seats can't cope with demand during busy traffic periods. For unknown reasons, the state railway company UFC doesn't allow any standees to be carried in the new railcars (there is no such rule in older vehicles!). Before the introduction of railcars on the line to San Antonio de los Baños there were only 4 round-trips per day, but those were worked with locomotives and carriages and had a capacity of about 200 passengers per journey.
(Source: juventudrebelde.cu)

Habana – Holguin

After a number of protests in the Holguín province which called for the re-introduction of the passenger train Habana – Holguín, withdrawn some 10 years ago, the ministry of transport has announced on all available channels that yet in 2014 the first long-distance passenger carriages will be imported and that, among others, this service will be re-instated. Habana is still keeping a low profile about the origin of the new carriages. The only information that has leaked through is that a number of 240 coaches will be supplied, 40 more than originally planned. People from Holguín have, however, made clear that they will remain vigilant until the new service operates.
(Source: Granma)

Vehicles

Construction of the new railcars started at Cárdenas workshops in February 2014, and russian technicians are currently in Cuba to train local staff. The workshops at Cárdenas were extended and upgraded for that purpose to the tune of 3,8 Mio Pesos.
(Source: TV Yumuri)

Those diesel railcars of the Dm11 class which are still extant (originally built by Alsthom for Finland) are being converted at Caibarién into coaching stock. They are fitted with bogies, sourced from ex-DB and ex-DR (FRG and GDR) coaches, and traditional shackle couplings for connection to locomotives. The windows are being converted as well so that the coaches can be used without working air-condition. There will also be new seating fitted, allowing for a higher capacity per vehicle.
(Source: Vanguardia)

Infrastructure

On 27th January 2014, the first part of the new port at Mariel, west of Habana, became operational. This includes the container terminal, and a part of the container traffic has already been diverted to Mariel from Habana port.
At that occasion, a number of details regarding the new railway line, due to open during 2014, became known. The double-track line starts at the Enlace Gas (close to Habana Central Station), uses the existing line to Almendares and continues from there to Guanajay on the closed line which has been rebuilt for that purpose. From Guanajay to Mariel, a newly built line will bring trains to the port. Freight trains will consist of 30 wagons each, and passenger services will be worked by 3-piece railcars (Muromteplovoz, assembled in Cuba). In a second stage, the line will be fitted with a GSM-R communication system and modern signalling. The brazilian contractor Odebrecht has a key role in the construction of both the port and the railway line, reason enough for the brazilian president Dilma Rousseff to visit the construction sites in January 2014.
(Source: Granma and other cuban media)

Mexico

Infrastructure

The House of Representatives of the mexican parliament has passed a law which changes the concessions of the private railway operators in Mexico. The law intends to establish a cap to track access fees and to guarantee open access to any train operator. Also, the private freight train operators should not be able to block the introduction of passenger trains (whether state-run or private) on the lines concessioned to them. The new law, which has the support of state president Nieto, is being strongly opposed by the two major, US-dominated railway companies Ferromex and KCSM because both of them have invested huge sums in the improvement of their respective trunk lines; they also have almost a monopoly for freight transport in the areas served. The two companies are currently lobbying the Senate and try to convince the members of the upper house to not pass the law or at least introduce major changes in it. At this moment, the outcome is still open.
(Source: Various newspapers and The Economist)

Panama

Ciudad de Panamá

On 5th April 2014, Ciudad de Panamá's first underground line will be opened. Until then, frequent trial runs with invited guests (150 persons per journey) are taking place. Comments to the new means of transport are very positive or even enthusiastic.
(Source: Entorno Inteligente)

Paraguay

Asunción - Luque - Ypacaraí

The state railway FEPASA and the paraguayan government are currently promoting construction of a Tram-Train type suburban railway from Asunción to Luque and Ypacaraí. The line should start as a tramway within Asunción, then use the centre divider of the new motorway Ñu Guasu and finally follow the current track alignment eastbound to Ypacaraí. Overall cost for the electrified line is estimated at US$ 240 to 250 Mio and it appears that South Corea is interested in participating in the project.
(Source: Entorno Inteligente)

Uruguay

Freight traffic

The state administration for fuel, alcohol and cement (ANCAP) has spent US$ 3,75 Mio for the purchase of 22 tank wagons and the transport of liquid fuels from Montevideo to their tank farms located at Durazno and Treinta y Tres. The wagons, manufactured in Brazil, are in operation for a few months now, but there are some reports about leaks. It is, however, unknown if this is due to manufacturing faults or to problems on the spot.
(Source: Trenesdeluruguay)

01.03.2014

Argentina

Ferrobaires

Ferrobaires suspended definitively its passenger train between Buenos Aires Once and Lincoln February 14. This line continues to be served by the SOFSE train
February 26, Ferrobaires was withdrawing again the Buenos Aires Retiro – Junin passenger train, for the second time in a short period. The locomotive used on this train is out of order.
(Source: Volta o Trem 14-2)

Suburban railways of Buenos Aires

The renationalized suburban railways of Buenos Aires (operated by UGOFE’s) have again been privatized by transfering them to the remaining two concessionaires Ferrovias and Metrovias. This step includes also the services from Buenos Aires to Rosario and from Buenos Aires to Alvear.
(Source: Volta o Trem 14-2)

Universidad Católica de Salta

February 17, 2014 SOFSE opened the long awaited train halt Universidad Católica de Salta between Güemes and Salta.
(Source: Volta o Trem 14-2)

Chile

Santiago-Nós-Rancagua

Because of heavy works for the new suburban train services between Santiago, Nós and Rancagua all train services (long distance and suburban) will be heavily reduced from March 4, 2014 on, leaving just a few services in the morning and evening rush hours.
(Source: Volta o Trem 14-2)

Mexico

Ciudad de México - Querétaro

The new passenger rail line from Ciudad de México to Querétaro may be built for a maximum speed of 300 km/h. The governments plan indicates a journey of 63 minutes for the more than 200 km long line. To speed up the project the city of Querétaro may get first a station in the Eastern outskirts, follwed later by another more centrally located station. The estimated number of daily passengers may reach 11'200. Against first plans no intermediate stations may be built.
(Source: Volta o Trem 14-2)

Peru

Tren Macho

Heavy floods and landslides on the Tren Macho line between Huancayo and Huancavelica caused during heavy rainfalls on January 20/21, 2014 are heavier than expected. 480 metres of track are completely destroyed. There is no date for the reopening of the line.
(Source: Volta o Trem 14-2)

Uruguay

Montevideos Central station

Today, March 1, 2014 Uruguayans will remember the closure of Montevideos Central station 11 years ago and a German TV crew, which is currently producing a documentary about Uruguayan railways will participate on this event.
(Source: Volta o Trem 14-2)

06.02.2014

Argentina

Tren Patagonico

During January 2014 Tren Patagonico reintroduced a twice weekly service between San Carlos de Bariloche and Ingeniero G. Jacobacci, using the ex-Renfe TER DMU.
(Source: Volta o Trem 14-1)

Ferrobaires

On February 3, 2014 Ferrobaires reinstated a limited twice weekly passenger service between Buenos Aires and Junín, the section from Junín to Alberdí remains without traffic.
(Source: Volta o Trem 14-1)

Brazil

Rio de Janeiro

Alstom commenced with the building of a work to produce tramways for Rio de Janeiro at Taubaté.
(Source: Volta o Trem 14-1)

Santos

After a longer interruption works regained speed on the new tramway at Santos and in July first test runs are expected.
(Source: Volta o Trem 14-1)

Bom Sinal/Voith Turbo

Bom Sinal contracted Voith Turbo for the delivery of tractionsystems, couplings, bogies etc. for new railcars which will run at Natal and João Pessoa.
(Source: Volta o Trem 14-1)

São Luis

The new light rail system of São Luis in Maranhão state will use part of the existing ex-RFFSA line South of the city for a suburban service between Tirirical and Estiva. The already delivered two railcars built by Bom Sinal will run on this line after some repairs have been carried out. This solution was taken after the building of two new lines across the city was stopped due to financial concerns and the already partly built line to Anjo da Guarda was lifted again. The two railcars are stored in a workshop of Transnordestina.
(Source: Volta o Trem 14-1)

Porto Alegre

Trensurb of Porto Alegre started tests on the newest built section in Novo Hamburgo municipality on January 22, 2014.
(Source: Volta o Trem 14-1)

Mexico

México – Toluca

Construction of the electric suburban railway from Ciudad de México to Toluca may be announced soon. The line may be suitable for speeds up to 160 km/h and the rolling-stock may be able to run also on tracks of the underground railway in the capital. In a second phase building of Merida-Cancún railway may be called for tender.
(Source: Volta o Trem 14-1)

Peru

Tren Macho

Because of heavy floods Tren Macho between Huancayo and Huancavelica is suspended for an undetermined time.
(Source: Volta o Trem 14-1)

Uruguay

Montevideo General Artigas main station

The Ministry of Transport and the Banco Hypotecario will maintain the building of the old Montevideo General Artigas main station. No mention to use it again as a railway station.
(Source: Volta o Trem 14-1)

13.01.2014

Argentina

Passenger traffic

The argentinian railway system is dilapidating faster than it can be refurbished. Ferrobaires withdrew its services from Buenos Aires to Junín, Alberdi, Bragado, Lincoln, Carlos Casares and Pehuajó at the start of December because the locomotives didn't meet the safety standards anymore. The trains to Bragado, Lincoln and Pehuajó resumed operations at the end of 2013 based on the initiative of the state administrator of Ferrobaires. It has been reported, however, that the train of Saturday 28th December 2013 was cancelled due to unavailability of a locomotive. Since November, the state railway SOFSE operates a weekly train from Buenos Aires (Once) and Bragado with a set of new chinese-built coaches. At Bragado, SOFSE offers a connecting service with a brand-new Materfer railcar to Realicó. That train is scheduled to run late evening/overnight, but at the end of 2013 it ran also on noon time. One of those additional services derailed due to heat deformation of the track; a result of the extremely hot weather at the time.

Right at the beginning of the summer season, Tren Patagónico had to cancel its weekly train from Viedma to San Carlos de Bariloche in December 2013, allegedly due to problems with the locomotives and the infrastructure. As the trains were fully booked until February 2014, all fares had to be reimbursed to the customers. Bad planning seems to be the reason for this desaster as the company failed to execute impending work in November. It is also reported that the Rio Negro province withheld a part of the funds pledged for the train.
At present, it is unclear when operations will be resumed. Some sources have indicated that it may only happen in March 2014. Early in January, some changes happened at senior management level of Tren Patagónico.

SOFSE Belgrano Sur have completely overhauled the CML number 1 which is a 2-piece light railcar built in the 1980ies. It was stored during two years. The vehicle was transferred by road to the Buenos Aires Retiro/Belgrano Norte station and it will travel under its own power from there to Resistencia to replace an Apolo railcar. That Apolo railcar will, in its turn, be transferred to Guemes with the aim to increase timetables between Salta and Guemes. At present, only one Apolo railcar is based at Salta for local traffic.

Ferrocentral have resumed through traffic from Córdoba (Rodríguez del Busto station) to Cosquín after the line was disrupted for a considerable period due to track repair works.
(Source: Fahrplancenter)

Infrastructure

Theft of rails near Pilar severed the standard-gauge Urquiza network from the Buenos Aires area. This led to the closure of the remaining minimal freight traffic.

Repair work on the Buenos Aires – Rosario line has started, although at a rather slow pace. There is still no decision about where the passenger station in Rosario will be. The state declared that it will resume passenger traffic on this route only when a new railway station is available. The current terminal Rosario Norte has been ruled out because the trains have to cross a number of slums. However, the same applies to all alternatives in discussion (Rosario Oeste, Rosario Sur, Rosario CC) and the problems with stone throwing remain without solution.
(Source: Fahrplancenter)

Freight traffic

Belgrano Cargas have resumed transport of wine. That product hasn't been transported by rail since the end of Ferrocarriles Argentinos.
(Source: Fahrplancenter)

Brazil

Rio de Janeiro

The SuperVía suburban railway company is rejuvenating its fleet. In December 2013 delivery of the first suburban coaches started out of a total of 80 built by Alstom Brasil. The new coaches have air-condition, automatic door interlock and internal CCTV. Each trainset composed of those coaches will have a capacity of up to 2600 passengers per journey. New workshops/depot were built near Deodoro station for that purpose; they are part of the 280 Mio BRR worth order.
Delivery of a further 240 new coaches built in China will start in April 2014. Some prototype vehicles are already in operation.
(Source: Fahrplancenter)

Rio de Janeiro/Santa Teresa tramway

The repair and refurbishment works on the „Bonde“, the Santa Teresa Tramway, are finally under way. Since November 2013, special tramway rails are being laid over a distance of 10 km, replacing thereby the provisional rails partly in place. The firm T'Trans is currently building 14 new tramcars which are very similar to the heritage vehicles. Overhead lines, rectifier, stops and workshops are all under refurbishement, too.
Operations are scheduled to start at the end of March 2014 on the Arcos – Praça Odylo Costa Neto section with the Praça Odylo Costa Neto – Dois Irmãos section following in June 2014. In the second half of the year, the Dois Irmãos – Silvestre line is expected to re-open as well as the currently closed line Carioca – Francisco Muratori.
(Source: Fahrplancenter)

Brasília – Luziânia

The Ministry of Transport initiated the detail planning for the regional traffic between Brasília and Luziânia.
(Source: Fahrplancenter)

Porto Alegre

The second Aeromóvel A200 set with a capacity of 300 passengers has been received at the end of November 2013. Testing started shortly before Christmas, and the set is expected to enter regular traffic some 3 months later. The currently used A100 vehicle, about half the size, will then serve as the spare vehicle.
(Source: Fahrplancenter)

Goiânia

Construction of a LRT line in Goiânia has been awarded to Odebrecht Transportation. The contract with a value of 1,3 billion BRR includes construction of 13,6 km long tramway line with 12 stops in Avenida Anhanguera. Only 2 tramways, each 33 metres long and with a capacity of 600 passengers, will travel on the line. Construction will start in 2014.
(Source: Fahrplancenter)

Freight traffic

The biggest concessionaire ALL (América Latina Logística) could face its dissolution in 2014. It was already forced to cease its operations in Argentina, but throughout 2013 problems also increased in Brasil. There are numerous complaints from customers alleging that ALL failed to transport the contracted quantities of freight, or they weren't delivered on time. The government, on the other hand, criticizes that ALL failed to repair and re-open a number of lines or completed the work only with a major delay, although federal funding was provided at various stages. Repair work on some lines in the Rio Grande do Sul state weren't completed like those to Santa Rosa and São Borja. It didn't happen in Mato Grosso do Sul either where works between Aquidauana and Corumbá are still awaiting completion, despite federal funding available for this, too. The same applies to the Marília – Panorama line which operated precariously over a short period of time and has now closed again due to technical reasons.
Some figures released by ANTT (land transport authority) prove how insufficiently infrastructure maintenance is done. The heavily frequented line from Araraquara to Santa Fé do Sul (436 km) suffered a total of 79 accidents in the period from January 2012 to October 2013, of which 20 are considered as „serious“ with people injured or fatalities. This is compared with MRS Logística who operate a network of about four times the length of the aforementioned line, with many of its lines running through densely populated areas and with even heavier traffic. Within the same period of time, MRS suffered a total of just 9 accidents, of which 2 are counted as serious!
ALL tries to palliate the situation, mentions some minor problems with a few customers and points out that the value of their shares at the stock exchange plummeted from 23.00 BRR to just 8.00 BRR, leading to a temporary financial shortfall.

The freight concessionaire Transnordestina Logística TL, controlled by the Companhía Siderugica Nacional CSN, was split into two operations with the consent of its shareholders.
What is called Malha (network) 1 will include the metre-gauge lines São Luis – Teresina – Fortaleza – Mucuripe, Arrojado – Itabaiana – Recife, Itabaiana – Paula Cavalcante – João Pessoa – Cabedelo and Paula Cavalcante – Natal – Macau (it is noted that the lines from Itabaiana northbound to Macau don't have any traffic at all with the exception of the CBTU suburban trains of João Pessoa and Natal. These lines may be devolved to the federal government in the medium term). Malha 1 will operate under the name FTL (Ferrovía Transnordestina Logística).
The current name will be kept for Malha 2, which includes the broad-gauge lines Missão Velha – Salgueiro – Trindade – Eliseo Martins, Salgueiro – Porto de Suape and Missão Velha – Porto de Pecém. Only the last mentioned line is currently in operation (most of it in mixed gauge 1600 mm/1000 mm) while the others are at different stages of construction.
There is no mention at all of the lines from Recife southbound to Propriá (border to Sergipe state), Missão Velha – Juazeiro do Norte (Connection to the Cariri local train) and the old, now closed line Jaboatão – Salgueiro whose eastern section from Jaboatão to Caruarú is on the aim of CBTU for regional traffic.
The purpose of this move is to prevent monies reserved for the construction of new lines from flowing to the old metre-gauge lines. At the same time, Taquari Participações together with CSN were able to expand the capital base for Malha 2 to 193,449 Mio shares.
(Source: Fahrplancenter)

Infrastructure

After an extended break, the state railway construction firm Valec resumed works on the FIOL (Ferrovía de Integração Oeste Leste) in the south of Bahia state. This line will have an overall length of 1022 km, of which works on a 500 km long section between Ilhéus and Caetité have been released. However, issues arised with the construction firm for the first 125 km stretch, and the works have to be re-advertised. Earth works on the remaining 375 km have hugely progressed. Environment impact certificates were issued in November 2013 for the further 522 km and a number of construction lots were awarded until early December 2013, including the 2,9 km long bridge across the Rio São Francisco in the Bom Jesús de Lapa municipality. This is the biggest single structure of the line, costing some 135 Mio BRR alone.
(Source: Fahrplancenter)

Colombia

New FARC attacks

The El Cerrejón coal railway in the northeastern province La Guajira suffered two bomb attacks from FARC rebels in October 2013. On the 13th October, 43 wagons were distroyed near Uribia at km 92 of this 150 km long line. The second incident happened ten days later on 23rd October only 15 km outside of Puerto Bolívar. At that occasion, 7 wagons of a 123 wagons long train were distroyed. On both occasions, laden trains running to the port of exportation Puerto Bolívar were targeted.
(Source: Fahrplancenter)

Cuba

Passenger traffic

Within the context of a railway revival in Cuba, delivery and commissioning of russian diesel railcars has started. Some 50 units will be built and delivered from the manufacturer Muromteplovoz in Russia while the remaining units will be shipped as kits; they will be assembled at Cardenas. Construction work for the new workshops at Cardenas is also under way so that the facility can assemble the units. The first three-piece unit of the class went into traffic on 9th December on the line La Habana – San José de Lajas and it is expected that they will shortly run between La Habana, Rincón and San Antonio de los Baños. Railway experts believe that with the partial opening of the new line La Habana – Guanajay – Mariel Puerto those railcars will operate there from the end of January/early February 2014.
After a considerable period of uncertainty regarding the question whether long-distance passenger traffic will be promoted again, some news about government plans have leaked out. It is envisaged to purchase a fleet of 240 long-distance carriages, consisting of coaches and dining cars. If sleeping cars or couchette cars will also be part of the order is still unclear. The new fleet will definitely feature air-conditioning. The name of the manufacturer has not been revealed yet, but it is assumed that chinese firms who already delivered locomotives to Cuba in the recent past will provide them. Earlier reports spoke of only 200 carriages.
(Source: Fahrplancenter)

Mexico

Infrastructure

The devastating rainfall at the Gulf coast, caused by the tropical storm „Ingrid“ in mid-September 2013, and hurricane „Manuel“ at the Pacific coast didn't just distroy many important road connections but also affected the railway network. First-hand information told that the line Morelia – Lázaro Cárdenas of KCSM, which usually sees some 10 to 12 freight trains per day, was washed out or disrupted by landslides at over 20 locations. Repair work started immediately, and traffic slowly resumed.
The line Guadalajara – Manzanillo was heavily damaged near Sayula by flooding.
The Ferromex line Monterrey – Tampico was destroyed near Atenquique by landslides. Ferromex could, however, assure that the „Chepe“ passenger train between Chihuahua and Los Mochis wasn't cancelled at any time, although there was heavy rainfall in the Los Mochis area.

For the first time in many years, repair work is carried out on the freight line Coatzacoalcos – Mérida, as freight trains derailed on multiple occasions, particularly in the Mérida area. A major quantity of sleepers and rails has been delivered to Campeche (173 km from Mérida). These track materials will be used first for the repair of the Mérida – Campeche section, followed by sections of line westbound to Tenosique. It is hoped that those repairs will contribute to considerably increase freight tonnage from and to Yucatán and make the line attractive enough to be concessioned again.
During 2013, the government has repaired the railway line through Chiapas state from Ixtepec to Tapachula on its full length. It had been destroyed by Hurricane „Stan“ some years ago at several places. At this occasion, an avoiding line around the city of Tapachula has been built, eliminating the crossing of the city centre which partially was in tramway style. The new line will also connect to an upgraded port between Tapachula and Ciudad Hidalgo. Freight traffic to Ciudad Hidalgo near the border with Guatemala will also be possible. The mexican petrol firm Pemex even requests the reconstruction of the track to the storage tanks in Tecún Umán, already in Guatemala. That facility used to be a freight customer in the past and was the reason for the double-gauge track across the international bridge. However, no negotiations between the two countries about the matter have taken place yet. It would be necessary to build a new bridge across the river which forms the border, as the old one was damaged too much by the hurricane.
(Source: Fahrplancenter)

Long-distance passenger trains again?

More and more details are being revealed by the state president Enrique Peña Nieto about his plans to build new passenger lines. In November 2013 it was announced that a maximum of 100 billion mexican Pesos would be spent. The focus is now on three lines, as opposed to plans of former governments.
Ciudad de México – Querétaro, 235 km: this will be a newly built line, as the freight concessionaire KCSdeM „won't tolerate any passenger trains“ on its line, according to declarations from the executive level of that railway operator. Maximum line speed will be 240 kph – the only high-speed line of the three planned, and a daily number of 12'000 passengers is expected. The trains will use the existing suburban line from the Central Station to Huehuetoca (44 km) and then use the new line. At a later stage, the line could be extended towards the north and the northwest which proves that projects for passenger train lines to Guadalajara and San Luís Potosí are not entirely forgotten and ruled out.
Ciudad de México – Toluca, 75 km: This line will partly use the existing but unused line linking the two cities (again KCSdeM being the concessionaire). It will rather be suburban-style and be operated with electric trainsets able to use the metro network of the capital city. Trains would therefore start at the Metro station „Observatorio“ and not at the central station. Frequent trains should carry some 250'000 passengers daily.
There have already been numerous calls in the past to build the third line which will connect Mérida and Cancún, about 325 km apart. Maximum speed will be just 160 kph as the line will also be available to freight trains. The existing line from Mérida to Valladolid will be used for the first 160 km; that section will be integrally relaid and partially re-aligned. At present, freight trains are running to Valladolid, carrying mainly liquid fuels, but the cement manufacturer CEMEX is planning to build a cement factory at the line. On top of it, the new line will also facilitate transport of agricultural products and generally impulse agriculture. The line will, therefore, have an importance which stretches far beyond local transport and tourism.
(Source: Fahrplancenter)

02.01.2014

Argentina

Tren Patagonico

Tren Patagonico suspended train services „Just in time for the Summer season“ between Viedma and San Carlos de Bariloche from mid-december 2013 on. This suspension may be until about March 2014. Because all seats and beds have been sold until February 2014 the company had to pay back the money to all passengers!
(Source: Volta o Trem 17-8)

Bolivia

Tupiza-Villazón

November 8, 2013 FCA resumed passenger train services to Villazón. The services have been withdrawn for more than a year because a bridge had to be repaired after it collapsed.
(Source: Volta o Trem 17-8)

Brazil

Maceió - Lourenço de Albuquerque

With the exception of one service in each direction all trains between Maceió and Lourenço de Albuquerque are now operated with new Bom Sinal-built DMU’s. Monday to Friday there are now 10 and Saturday 5 services in each direction.
(Source: Volta o Trem 17-8)

Rio de Janeiro - São Paulo - Campinas

Despie the great delais on the project for a high-speed railway between Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo and Campinas the Federal government keeps this project atop on the agenda, because construction of a new highway or more airports would be more expensive than the railway.
(Source: Volta o Trem 17-8)

Chile

Expreso Atacama

With the end of the Summer season 2012/2013 the Trans-atacama-Express out of Iquique was suspended and the carriages transferred by road to Arica. At Arica these carria-ges have been used for the 100 year celebrations of the Arica-La Paz Railway in May 2013, since then these carriages have no more been in use.
(Source: Volta o Trem 17-8)

Valdivia – Antilhue

For security reasons the steam train „El Valdiviano“(Valdivia – Antilhue) has been withdrawn.
(Source: Volta o Trem 17-8)

Cuba

Beginning of Operation of DMUs

Of the new Muromteplovoz-built railcars two single and two triple DMU’s have been put on UFC tracks early December 2013. From 9 December on a three-coach DMU has been put into operation between Habana, San José and Güines and others underwent test runs between Habana and San Antonio de los Baños.
(Source: Volta o Trem 17-8)

08.12.2013

Argentina

Tren Patagonico

Mid November Tren Patagonico brought the TER DMU (ex-Renfe) back into service, running a weekly service between Viedma and San Carlo de Bariloche and a local service between San Carlos de Bariloche and Ing. G. Jacobacci, but only one week later these new services have again been withdrawn for unclear reasons.
(Source: Volta o Trem 17-7)

Buenos Aires-Junin-Alberdí and Buenos Aires-Bragado-Lincoln/Pehuajó

December 1 Ferrobaires suspended the Buenos Aires-Junín-Alberdí and Buenos Aires-Bragado-Lincoln/Pehuajó passen-ger trains because the locomotives in service apparently no longer met the saftey requirements of the Secretariat of Transport.
(Source: Volta o Trem 17-7)

Fiesta del Tren a Vapor

The „Old Patagonia Express“ (La Trochita) celebrates again the Steam Train Festival in 2014. Trains will run between El Maitén and Ñorquincó on February 14, 15 & 16, 2014.
(Source: Volta o Trem 17-7)

Brazil

Metro Teresina-Timón

The Urban Train of Teresina will be extended to the neigh-boring town of Timón in Maranhão state. The extension has now been incorporated into the national plan for regional train services. The opening date has not yet been fixed.
(Source: Volta o Trem 17-7)

Chile

Tacna-Arica

Cement producer Gloria is building a cement plant at the Tacna economic free zone and wants to rehabilitate the railway Tacna-Arica by 2015 to export cement to Chile using the port of Arica.
(Source: Volta o Trem 17-7)

Peru

Lima-Huancayo

On a provisorial basis departure dates for 2014 of the Lima-Huancayo tourist train have been published (subject to confirmation):
From Lima: 4/17, 6/27, 7/26, 8/29, 10/5 and 10/31
From Huancayo: 4/20, 6/30, 7/29, 9/1, 10/8 and 11/3
(Source: Volta o Trem 17-7)

Tacna-Arica

Cement producer Gloria is building a cement plant at the Tacna economic free zone and wants to rehabilitate the railway Tacna-Arica by 2015 to export cement to Chile using the port of Arica.
(Source: Volta o Trem 17-7)

Metro Wanka Tambo-Huancayo-Chilca

Still not completely finished Metro Wanka got permission for regular operation between Tambo, Huancayo and Chilca from the Transport Ministry on November 17. Sources at Ferrocarril Central are giving the first quarter of 2014 for initiating operations.
(Source: Volta o Trem 17-7)

20.10.2013

Argentina

Buenos Aires Once - Bragado - Realicó

SOFSE introduced a new weekly train between Buenos Aires Once and Realicó on October 18, 2013. Between Once station and Bragado a new set of Chinese-built coaches and locomotive is running, at Bragado passengers have to change into a new Materfer-built two coaches DMU to proceed the trip to Realicó. Departure from Once is Friday and from Realicó Sunday and passengers have to change in both directions in the middle of the night at Bragado (between 1.00 and 2.00 a.m.)
(Source: Volta o Trem 17-6)

Breaking Problmes

October 19, 2013 a suburban train of the Sarmiento Line passend again a stop block and 99 passengers have been injured. This time it was a refurbished train with braking problems.
(Source: Volta o Trem 17-6)

Buenos Aires Mitre – Rosario

Refurbishment of the Buenos Aires Mitre – Rosario line has commenced. At Rosario a new emplacement for the station for services to Buenos Aires is still sought, the nice station building of the former Central Córdoba Railway could perhaps became this new station.
(Source: Volta o Trem 17-6)

Chile

Santiago – Nós – Rancagua

The first of 24 EMU’s arrived at the port of San Antonio on October 19, 2013. The trains for the the Santiago – Nós – Rancagua suburban line are built by Alstom of Spain and the remaining 23 trains may arrive until end-November 2013.
(Source: Volta o Trem 17-6)

Talca - Constitución

After refurbishing some sections of track between Talca and Constitución journey times have been reduced by roughly 15 min.
During Summer months an additional train will run again between Talca and González Bastias.
(Source: Volta o Trem 17-6)

Honduras

Railway Museum

The railway museum at El Progreso is nearly complete. The city got a credit over 8mio. Lempiras from the World Bank to build it.
(Source: Volta o Trem 17-6)

Financial Problems

State Railways FNH are selling more and more rails, bridges etc. to easen financial problems. At Búfalo, Choloma and Villanueva such material was extracted officially, but this caused that steadily more illegals are doing the same without permission. The state pays less than 20% of the funds needed by the railway alone to pay pensions.
(Source: Volta o Trem 17-6)

Venezuela

Caracas – Cúa

To increase the number of train services between Caracas and Cúa 13 new EMU’s will be delivered from Japan during 2014.
(Source: Volta o Trem 17-6)

23.09.2013

Argentina

Cars from Mdrid for Buenso Aires

The subway of Buenos Aires has decided to purchase a substantial fleet of second-hand trainsets from Madrid. This has been heavily criticised after it became evident that they are in a deteriorated condition and that a costly adaptation to the technical parameters of the Buenos Aires system is needed.
(Source: Cronica ferroviaria)

Retiro – Pilar

Im September 2013 hat der Ausbau der Bahnstationen an der San Martin S-Bahn Strecke Retiro – Pilar begonnen. Die Bahnsteige werden erhöht, damit die neuen chinesischen Zugskompositionen eingesetzt werden können.
(Source: Cronica ferroviaria)

Transfer to SOFSE

After the Tren de la Costa, the suburban railway systems Belgrano Sur, Roca, San Martín, Mitre and Sarmiento were also transferred to the state railway operator SOFSE.
(Source: Cronica ferroviaria)

Credit from BID

The Interamerican Bank for Development BID has established a credit line of up to 1,2 billion USD for Argentina. This should enable the state to upgrade the suburban network in and around Buenos Aires. The first step will be the electrification of the Buenos Aires (Plaza Constitución) to La Plata line, a matter which is already pending for decades.
(Source: Cronica ferroviaria)

Buenos Aires - Rosario

The daily round-trip from Buenos Aires to Rosario has been cancelled in connection with the impending track repair and upgrade. In the end that train ran only occasionally, and it took 8 hours to cover the 300 km which separate the two cities.
(Source: FLB correspondents)

Buenos Aires - San Carlos de Bariloche

A test train consisting of brand-new chinese vehicles (diesel locomotive and coaches) travelled from Buenos Aires to San Carlos de Bariloche early in September. It was noted that a 70 km long section of track south of Bahía Blanca needs repair before SOFSE can offer regular train service on this route.
(Source: Cronica ferroviaria)

Brazil

Infrastructure

The federal government is currently creating a Federal Railway Administration which will integrate the current state railway infrastructure agency Valec. This body will be responsible for the construction of new railway lines which may be used by the state and by third-party operators. Also, all those lines devolved to the state by the current concessionaires will be transferred to the new entity. Some of the planned regional services may as well be operated by this federal agency if no other operator can be found.
(Source: Revista Ferroviária, Valec)

No Closure

The planned closure of the metre-gauge lines in the Bahía state by the operator FCA has been averted. The state president Dilma Rousseff herself has guaranteed that those lines will be kept operational after protests from the Bahía state authorities.
(Source: Revista Ferroviária)

Sobral

The modern urban railway of Sobral in the Ceará state is taking shape. The south line Cohab II – Sumaré, which shares a section of the Fortaleza – Teresina main line with freight trains, is nearly complete and test runs will start in September 2013. All 11 stations along the route are complete as well as track renewal. Level crossing protection is in place and technical testing is under way. The north line is essentially complete between Cohab III and Grendene, only the section beyond Grendene to the future workshops has not been built yet. The trackbed of the former line to Camocim will be used for this, however, 12 private dwellings have to be removed. Nine of those buildings have already been acquired and the residents moved out, while compensations are being negotiated for the remaining three buildings. Three diesel multiple units, out of five, were already delivered by Bom Sinal and loading gauge trials have been conducted. Staff training is also ongoing.
(Source: Metrofor, Metro Sobral, Revista Ferroviária)

Porto Alegre

On 10th August 2013, the first line of the Aeromóvel, a system invented and developed in this city, was inaugurated. The current, first vehicle numbered A-100 with a capacity of 150 passengers carried 12'302 passengers in its first 10 days of operation between the “Aeroporto” station of the suburban railway and Terminal 1 of the Porto Alegre International Airport. At this time, the service operates from Monday to Friday between 10:00 and 16:00 hours. At the end of September, a second, bigger vehicle A-200 with a capacity of 300 passengers will be delivered and from November 2013 on, the line will operate automatically from 05:30 and 23:20 hours.
The local council of Canoas, north of Porto Alegre, has suggested to connect the town centre and their suburban railway station with an Aeromóvel line to improve access to the Trensurb system.

(Source: Trensurb)

São Paulo

Construction of CPTM Line 13, linking the Engenheiro Goulart station with the international airport of Guarulhos, begun on 16th September 2013. Construction time is expected to last 18 months. The line will be mostly elevated to cross the Tietê river and the Ayrton Senna and Dutra motorways. The only intermediate station, called Guarulhos-Cecap, will serve the centre of that city. The new line will terminate at the Terminal 4 of the airport, from where the airport administration will build a link line to the other terminals. It is, however, not yet decided if this will be a tramway/light rail or a monorail. The São Paulo state will spend some 2,1 billion BRR for this project.
(Source: Revista Ferroviaria)

The suburban railway operator of São Paulo, CPTM, has ordered 65 8-car trains which will be delivered in two batches, one of them manufactured by CAF do Brasil and the other by Hyundai Rotem.
(Source: Revista Ferroviaria)

Rio de Janeiro

The suburban railway operator SuperVia is finally upgrading the most heavily used section of their system between Central (Dom Pedro II) and Deodoro with ATP (Automatic Train Protection) system. This became very urgent after a dramatic increase of accidents on this line, for example trains crashing into other, broken down trains occupying the track.
(Source: Revista Ferroviaria)

Caruarú

The city of Caruarú in the Pernambuco state has published plans for a funicular line from the city centre to the upper neighbourhoods. It is hoped that private firms will participate in the construction.
(Source: Revista Ferroviaria)

Campinas

The city of Campinas (São Paulo state), which counts over 2 Mio inhabitants, is planning the construction of a “light metro” or tramway to ease transport problems. Help from the federal government has been requested for this purpose. The reply came directly from the state president Rousseff saying that the state will assist and support planning.
Campinas undertook the construction of an urban railway some 30 years ago, at that time with the support of FEPASA (former São Paulo state railway company). That railway, however, operated only for a short period of time. The line used the trackbed of a former, dismantled railway line which generously avoided all centres of population and, on top of it, the project was never fully completed due to lack of funds.
Source: Revista Ferroviaria, Fahrplancenter

(Source: Revista Ferroviaria, Fahrplancenter)

Freight traffic

Even before the nearly completed north-south railway (Ferrovía Norte-Sul) from Açailândia to Anápolis becomes operational, the detailed planning of its extension in south-southwesterly direction has already started. It is to be extended from Ouro Verde (Goiás state) to Estrela d'Oeste (São Paulo state). It will then continue from Estrela d'Oeste to Dourados in the Mato Grosso do Sul state. Further, a line will connect Maracajú in Mato Grosso do Sul eastbound via Lapa to the port of Paranaguá. Another route will start at Uruaçú in Goiás state and reach Campos in the Rio de Janeiro state. All those lines have been included into the programme for the development of infrastructure and logistics (PIL).
(Source: Revista Ferroviaria, Valec)

Chile

Regional traffic

The upgrade of the Santiago – Nós – Rancagua route is under way. The timetables of Metrotren and TerraSur were considerably reduced in order to facilitate the works. On the Alameda to San Bernardo section, the new stations of Espejo, Lo Blanco and Freire are being built as well as the third and fourth line. The Pedro Aguirre Cerda station will be relocated to a new spot a few hundred metres away where it will establish a connection to the new Metro line 6, also under construction. The numerous level crossings between Alameda and Nós will be replaced by over- and underbridges. Twelve new electric trainsets will be delivered by Alstom within the next 3 months and test runs are scheduled to take place in December 2013. It is expected that the new system will become operational in April/May 2014. Train frequency between Alameda and Nós will be one train per direction every 8 minutes, this being increased to a train every 3 minutes in peak periods. Trains from Santiago to Rancagua will run every 30 minutes (every 15 minutes in peak period). Travel time from Santiago to Rancagua will be reduced from 80 to 50 minutes, and the number of passengers should increase to 23 Mio annually (after 4 years of new service). The current fleet of trains will be transferred to Concepción and integrated into the Biotren fleet. The extension of its south line (Concepción – San Pedro) to Coronel requires more trainsets than are currently available.
(Source: EFE, TMS)

Talca – Constitución

The state railway EFE has overhauled and integrally renovated 2 railbuses which were returned to the metre-gauge line in August 2013. These are Ferrostaal railbuses which operate for a long time on this line; it is not their first major overhaul. A third railbus, also renovated, will enter service in September/October 2013. The railbuses got new engines. At the same time, infrastructure upgrades worth 4 billions CHP (about 6 Mio. Euros) are taking place.
(Source: EFE)

Arica – La Paz

The Arica – La Paz railway organised two public excursions for the local population in May and June 2013. Trains ran from Arica to Poconchile and consisted of the few, now historical, passenger coaches which are based at the Chinchorro depot/workshops.
(Source: EFE)

Freight traffic

The Chilean state Railway EFE has advertised for bids to purchase two diesel-electric locomotives for freight trains on the Arica – La Paz railway (FCALP). After the Bolivian government refused to accept the Port Authority of Arica as operator of the line – although that entity owns the concession - , it is expected that EFE will operate it, at least temporarily.
(Source: EFE)

Colombia

Infrastructure

In September 2013, the national infrastructure agency ANI will announce those firms which will participate in the repair of the central railway network, in which 16 firms expressed their interest. This network includes the lines along the Río Magdalena, from Bogotá and La Dorada to the south and from Bogotá to the northeast. 126 sections totalling 875 km of track should be repaired on the lines La Dorada – Chiriguaná and Facatativá – Bogotá – Belencito. At Belencito, a loading terminal for coal from the area will be built and this will be carried over 1322 km via Bogotá and Barrancabermeja to Santa Marta. It was said that this route is the most sensible way as the planned Carare line won't be built for a long time. The Ibagué region will be re-connected to the line to Chiriguaná – Santa Marta, and the subject of constructing the 177 km long line Buenos Aires – Ibagué – Armenia – La Tebaida has been brought up again. This project is nearly 100 years old and would include a tunnel underneath the western Cordillera. Several attempts to build that tunnel failed in the past due to lack of funding.
(Source: portafolio.com)

Costa Rica

Infrastructure

Interest in the Central American countries for the Feristsa project has grown after freight traffic resumed between Ixtepec and Tapachula. Guatemala announced that it would promote the project of a rail link between Mexico and Panamá along with the Spanish state railway Renfe. A number of private Spanish firms also expressed their interest in the matter.
(Source: dif. Mexican Newspapers; La Nación (Honduras))

Cuba

Rolling Stock

The state railway UFC is acquiring 300 diesel railcars of the SV-10 type for local traffic from the Russian manufacturer Muromteplovoz. The robust vehicles are based on staff transport units in use by the Russian railway RZD. Delivery of the first 17 units will take place shortly; they will run between La Habana and Artemisa and, once the new line is complete in early 2014, between La Habana and the port of Mariel. The remaining 283 units will be shipped as kits to Cuba and then assembled at Cardenas. In order to guarantee a swift assembly of the vehicles and later their proper maintenance, a number of Cuban engineers and fitters participate in the manufacturing at the Muromteplovoz factory.
The new units consist of 2 cars, the power car has a 240 PS Yamz diesel engine. Maximum speed is 100 km/h while seating capacity will be 45 in the power car and 48 in the control car, both in a 2+3 configuration with hard plastic seats. The four-wheel power car weighs 22 tons, while the control car weighs 15 tonnes. This ensures that the new units can run on all lines in Cuba.
Cuba will also purchase new carriages from China for long-distance trains, however, both parties keep a low profile in this regard. An announcement just speaks of “improvements in long-distance traffic during 2014”.

(Source: Muromteplovoz; Cubanrailways)

Ecuador

Cuenca

At the end of June 2013, the Mayor of Cuenca signed a contract to build a 10,5 km long tramway. The line will count 27 stops, and opening is expected in 2015. The order with a total value of 142,6 Mio US Dollars includes delivery of 14 low-level trams of the Alstom Citadis type. Power will be supplied by an underground cable running in between the rails and collected via a groove (same system used in Bordeaux, France). This will make Cuenca the first city in Latin America with such a system. Some preliminary works like relocation of utilities and the building of the workshops have already started and will be executed by the Tranvía Cuatro Ríos de Cuenca consortium, while French firms are in charge of track laying, electrification and delivery of rolling stock.
(Source: Railway Gazette International)

El Salvador

Infrastructure

Interest in the Central American countries for the Feristsa project has grown after freight traffic resumed between Ixtepec and Tapachula. Guatemala announced that it would promote the project of a rail link between Mexico and Panamá along with the Spanish state railway Renfe. A number of private Spanish firms also expressed their interest in the matter.
(Source: dif. Mexican Newspapers; La Nación (Honduras))

Guatemala

Infrastructure

Interest in the Central American countries for the Feristsa project has grown after freight traffic resumed between Ixtepec and Tapachula. Guatemala announced that it would promote the project of a rail link between Mexico and Panamá along with the Spanish state railway Renfe. A number of private Spanish firms also expressed their interest in the matter.
(Source: dif. Mexican Newspapers; La Nación (Honduras))

Honduras

San Pedro Sula

The days of the San Pedro Sula local train seem to be counted. The condition of the vehicles is reported as being extremely poor, and this applies also to the track between the railway station and the urban bus terminal. The railway is struggling to even pay for diesel fuel. Timetables were reduced to 3 runs per weekday. As a result, each train is used by an average of just 10 passengers. Media reports from Honduras suggest that it is merely a matter of days or weeks until traffic ceases.
(Source: La Nación)

Freight traffic

The government of state president Pepe Lobo is optimistic about shortly closing a deal with China about building of a railway link between Isla de Amapala on the Pacific Ocean (near Jícaro Galán) and Puerto Castilla on the Atlantic Ocean. The project has the support of several Chinese firms, and it is planned that ships with a loading capacity of 300'000 tonnes could transfer their load directly onto trains. Containers would be sorted per destinations at the arrival port so that they can be loaded altogether onto one ship to the respective destination at the departure port.
(Source: La Nación)

Infrastructure

Interest in the Central American countries for the Feristsa project has grown after freight traffic resumed between Ixtepec and Tapachula. Guatemala announced that it would promote the project of a rail link between Mexico and Panamá along with the Spanish state railway Renfe. A number of private Spanish firms also expressed their interest in the matter.
(Source: dif. Mexican Newspapers; La Nación (Honduras))

Mexico

Long-distance traffic

During a public meeting about communication and transport which took place at the end of June, state president Enrique Peña Nieto declared that it is the duty of the state to improve the transport infrastructure. The government will provide funding to the tune of 310 Billion Pesos, still in 2013, to upgrade ports and construction of long-distance passenger lines.
The ports of Lázaro Cárdenas, Manzanillo and Veracruz, all served by railway lines, will be integrally upgraded and their handling capacity increased.
The government then urges construction of three passenger railway lines:
Ciudad de México – Querétaro, by upgrading the existing tracks
Ciudad de México – Toluca, by partly upgrading the existing line and partly rebuilding it on a new alignment.
Tren Transpeninsular Yucatán – Quintana Roo, from Mérida to Chetumal and Cancún, newly built line. The detail project of this line was to be published in July 2013, however, opposition against this project is particularly strong among the population of Mérida.
(Source: dif. Mexican Newspapers)

Infrastructure

Interest in the Central American countries for the Feristsa project has grown after freight traffic resumed between Ixtepec and Tapachula. Guatemala announced that it would promote the project of a rail link between Mexico and Panamá along with the Spanish state railway Renfe. A number of private Spanish firms also expressed their interest in the matter.
(Source: dif. Mexican Newspapers; La Nación (Honduras))

Nicaragua

Infrastructure

Interest in the Central American countries for the Feristsa project has grown after freight traffic resumed between Ixtepec and Tapachula. Guatemala announced that it would promote the project of a rail link between Mexico and Panamá along with the Spanish state railway Renfe. A number of private Spanish firms also expressed their interest in the matter.
(Source: dif. Mexican Newspapers; La Nación (Honduras))

Panama

Infrastructure

Interest in the Central American countries for the Feristsa project has grown after freight traffic resumed between Ixtepec and Tapachula. Guatemala announced that it would promote the project of a rail link between Mexico and Panamá along with the Spanish state railway Renfe. A number of private Spanish firms also expressed their interest in the matter.
(Source: dif. Mexican Newspapers; La Nación (Honduras))

Uruguay

Montevideo - Las Piedras

Increased local traffic started on 19th September 2013 between Montevideo and Las Piedras with the recently purchased second-hand Y1 railcars from Sweden. The new timetable offers 8 round-trips on weekdays. The existing, locomotive-hauled trains will keep running two daily round-trips between Montevideo and 25 de Agosto and another two round-trips between Montevideo and Progreso.
(Source: Fahrplancenter)

Trenes del Uruguay

The cooperative Trenes del Uruguay has released an appeal for donations to purchase a Budd diesel railcar from the USA. It can be viewed at http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/project-to-restore-passenger-train-service-between-montevideo-and-minas/x/4621214 or at http://www.aiffla.com/TDU5.html.
(Source: TDU)

Servicios Logísticos Ferroviarios SLF

Servicios Logísticos Ferroviarios SLF is the name of the new freight train operator which has been created by the state railway administration AFE and the National Railway Transport Authority DNTF.
(Source: Fahrplancenter)

21.09.2013

Argentina

SOFSE

Currently renationalization of passenger train companies is in full swing. During September FerroCentral with its services from Buenos Aires to Córdoba and Tucumán and the Tren de las Sierras at Córdoba have been incorporated into SOFSE. Discussions have also been held to integrate UEFER, out of Paraná in Entre Rios, into SOFSE.
Early September a test train completely made up by new chi-nese built coaches and locomotive travelled all the line from Buenos Aires to San Carlos de Bariloche. It was discovered that a 70 km section south of Bahía Blanca has to be rebuilt to start regular services over this line.
Within the next few days reconstruction of the Buenos Aires – Rosario main line may begin. These works will be executed directly by the Transport ministry.
SOFSE plans to introduce its own passenger service on Fridays and Sundays between Buenos Aires Once and Bragado using chinese-built coaches.
The local passenger train Buenos Aires – Rosario with intermediate stops has been withdrawn.
(Source: Volta o Trem 17-5)

Brazil

Meter Gauge

State president Rousseff guaranteed that the metre gauge lines within Bahía state wouldn’t be closed to traffic.
(Source: Volta o Trem 17-5)

Cuba

300 railcars

UFC ordered 300 type SV-10 railcars from the Russian builder Muromteplovoz for local and regional traffic. The first 17 railcars are on their way to Cuba and may first be used between Habana and Artemisa and on the new line to the Port of Mariel, which is under construction. The remaining railcars will be delivered as kits to be assembled at Cardenas.
(Source: Volta o Trem 17-5)

Ecuador

Ibarra – Otavalo

State railways FEEP informs that reconstruction of the 27 km long line between Ibarra and Otavalo is going ahead as planned and that passenger traffic may start in the second half of 2014. The investment for this line is US$14mio.
During vacational seasons FEEP is now offering free transport of bicycles between Quito and Machachi.
(Source: Volta o Trem 17-5)

Uruguay

Montevideo - Las Piedras

On 19 September AFE commenced with local services bet-ween Montevideo and Las Piedras using the Swedish railcars Y1, there are 7 train pairs Monday-Friday and 5 on Saturdays. The existing services to Progreso and 25 de Agosto remain nearly unchanged.
(Source: Volta o Trem 17-5)

Montevideo - Minas

The cooperative Trenes del Uruguay started a donation cam-paign to buy an operational Budd railcar from the USA. Details can be found at http://www.aiffla.com/TDU5.html. The railcar may help to start passenger services between Montevideo and Minas.
(Source: Volta o Trem 17-5)

25.08.2013

Argentina

Buenos Aires suburban lines

Buenos Aires suburban lines San Martin, Roca and Belgrano Sur operated by UGOFE have been transferred to state rail-ways operator SOFSE. The news does not state if the infrastructure of these lines will be transferred to infrastructure authority Adif.
(Source: Volta o Trem 17-4)

Subte buys Scrap

Buenos Aires Metro Subte buys for the second time second-hand trains from Metro Madrid for Line B. This despite the bad experience with a first delivery in 2011 of trains close to the state of scrap. The Madrid trains must also be rebuilt at high costs for the conditions at Buenos Aires, for example the change from overhead to thrid-rail electric supply.
(Source: Volta o Trem 17-4)

Bolivia

Arica – La Paz

Over a year ago the Andean Railway company reintroduced a passenger service between Viacha and Charaña on the Bolivian section of the Arica – La Paz Railway. A home-built railbus is running three times a week in each direction.
(Source: Volta o Trem 17-4)

Atocha - Villazón

End 2013 the line to Villazón will be back in operation. Train services South of Atocha have been suspended due to a damaged bridge.
(Source: Volta o Trem 17-4)

Brazil

FCA Meter Gauge

FCA metre gauge lines in the North of Minas Gerais, in Bahía & Sergipe states may be closed to all traffic and later replaced by a new broad-gauge line from Belo Horizonte to the Northeast.
(Source: Volta o Trem 17-4)

Chile

Santiago - Chillán

The number of trains between Santiago and Chillán was re-duced August 1, 2013 to two daily round-trips. All other ser-vices out of Santiago Alameda station have also been redu-ced due to construction works between Santiago and Nós.
(Source: Volta o Trem 17-4)

Mexico

Ixtepec und Tapachula

The Ixtepec – Tapachula line has been reopenend through-out for freight traffic.
(Source: Volta o Trem 17-4)

Paraguay

FEPASA forgotten

The new Paraguayan government is forgetting the state rail-way FEPASA. No new director has been appointed. Freight traffic from Encarnación to Argentina decreased from 20’000 tonnes in 2012 to only 9000 tonnes during the first 7 months of 2013.
(Source: Volta o Trem 17-4)

Uruguay

Montevideo - Las Piedras

The 5 Y1 railcars from Sweden (Fiat/Kalmar 1979/1981) have been repainted and tested. It is planned to introduce them between Montevideo and Las Piedras from September 19, 2013 on.
(Source: Volta o Trem 17-4)

Venezuela

Barquisimeto – Yaritagua

Opening of the Barquisimeto – Yaritagua section may be delayed by another 12 to 18 months. The La Ruega bridge should be replaced and at Yaritagua new station tracks should be laid during this time. Ende 2013 a track machine may be transferred from Caracas to Yaritagua to speed up rehabilitation works.
(Source: Volta o Trem 17-4)

16.06.2013

Argentina

Local traffic San Martin

The chinese manufacturer China Southern Railway Industries delivered until the end of April 2013 all 24 new diesel locomotives and 60 of the 160 ordered new passenger coaches to the port of Buenos Aires. All vehicles are destined for the San Martín suburban line Retiro – Pilar. The remaining 100 coaches will follow until early 2014. As the platforms on the San Martín line are not high enough to accommodate the new fleet, they need adapted at all 20 stations of the route. These works are due to start “in a few months”. Therefore, the Minister of Interior and Transport, Mr Florencio Randazzo, has decided that the new vehicles will be used during peak hours on the Mitre suburban line, until further notice.
(Source: La Nación)

La Plata

In La Plata, the 4,6 km long “Tren Universitario” started operations on the 26th April 2013. Light railbuses from TecnoTren run at fixed intervals Monday to Friday from 0730 until 2230 and on Saturdays from 0730 until 1330 over this line which connects the La Plata railway station (suburban trains from Buenos Aires) with 4 stops at various faculties, the stop at Diagonal 73 and the outpatient's clinic. Purpose-built stops were erected. The line is also occasionally being used by freight trains; and the travel time of the university train is about 25 minutes. The lightweight railbuses suffer, however, from frequent problems caused by the poorly maintained tracks, leading repeatedly to cancellations.
(Source: own research)

Paraná

At Paraná, the number of journeys on the suburban line to Oro Verde has been reduced from 3 to 2 daily round-trips, while traffic on the route to Colonia Avellaneda was reduced from 7 to 5 round-trips. The trains prove to be very popular, but the number of serviceable TecnoTren light railbuses was reduced considerably after several derailments, particularly on the route to Colonia Avellaneda. Despite of well-known problems with infrastructure (worn turnouts, flooded tracks in rainy periods, much rubbish on the tracks), nothing is being done to remedy the situation.
(Source: UEFER)

Transport politics

The worsening situation in Argentina's railway sector, particularly in passenger transport, force the state to re-nationalise more and more railway lines and networks.
After the suburban systems Mitre, Sarmiento, San Martín, Roca and Belgrano Sur, which were re-organised as “UGO” (state-supported emergency operators), also the Tren de la Costa (Maipú – Delta) was nationalised and transferred to the state-owned operator SOFSE.
At the end of May 2013, the more than 10'000 km long metre-gauge network Belgrano Cargas was re-nationalised under the name of Belgrano Cargas y Logística S.A. Belgrano Cargas is one of the most important networks of Argentina as it provides connections to Bolivia and Chile and opens up 14 provinces of the country. It was noted that just 400 km of that big network are in technically good condition. Shareholders of Belgrano Cargas are the state agencies ADIF (rail infrastructure), SOFSE (train operator) and AGP (port authority).
Currently (mid-June 2013) the procedure to re-nationalise the two networks of San Martín (broad gauge) and Urquiza/Mesopotámico (standard gauge) is under way. Both networks are operated by the brazilian company ALL (América Latina Logística), and the government stresses that ALL didn't comply with the obligations of the concession contract. ALL, however, is seeking legal action against the revocation of concession. The government plans to integrate the San Martín and Urquiza routes into the aforementioned Belgrano Cargas.
After Tren Patagónico (Viedma – San Carlos de Bariloche) had claimed huge support from the state to repair the track and to provide passenger coaches, negotiations between the Rio Negro province and the federal government have started and things seem to move towards re-nationalisation. The state railway SOFSE is already planning to operate a direct train Buenos Aires – San Carlos de Bariloche with the new fleet currently being delivered from China.
(Source: La Nación, Clarín, local sources)

Long-distance traffic

The new vehicles ordered from China Northern Railway at Dalian are currently being delivered to the state railway SOFSE. Some details of the fleet have been known.
The fleet comprises (all vehicles for 1675 mm broad gauge) 20 diesel locomotives and 220 passenger carriages including 20 sleeping cars, 20 dining cars and 20 car-carrying coaches. The locomotives have an output of 2200 kW and will be built in a variant for 120 km per hour and a variant for 160 km per hour. Delivery of the entire fleet should be complete by the end of 2013. It is planned to formate 10 to 20 rakes to cover long-distance services to Córdoba, Tucumán, San Carlos de Bariloche and Bahía Blanca.
The track upgrade on the Buenos Aires – Rosario route has been advertised; it is, however, yet unknown when the Mar del Plata route will follow.
(Source: various sources)

Brazil

TAV

After it had been clarified that the brazilian state will build the high-speed line (TAV) Rio de Janeiro – São Paulo – Campinas, eight syndicates expressed their interest to provide the trains and operate the route. Four syndicates are multinational and the remaining four are from France, Spain, Belgium and Italy. Spanish firms are also represented in the multinational syndicates. The offer with the lowest price came from the french Egis group. Egis already operates the Campinas Viracopos airport which, during its upgrade, was prepared for accommodating a railway station.
(Source: O Globo)

Trem Pé Vermelho

The project for a passenger train service over the 152 km long line from Maringá to Londrina was presented in May 2013 to the public in the 13 municipalities affected. The route should in fact start at Paiçandú and connect the towns of Maringá, Sarandi, Marialva, Mandaguari, Jandaia do Sul, Cambira, Apucaraná, Arapongas, Rolândia, Cambé, Londrina and Ibiporã. The overall population counts about 2 Mio people. At present, several of those towns are served just once a day by bus although the demand for transport exceeds that offer by far. The government envisages a Public Private Partnership to carry out the project.
(Source: O Diário)

Brasília – Goiânia

The planning of the Brasília – Goiânia route has achieved significant progress. It has been decided that Alexânia and Anápolis will be intermediate stations. Maximum speed will be 180 km/hour and it is still debated if diesel railcars or electric trains will be used. Outside peak hours the line will also be available for freight trains. Travel time for passenger trains will range from 65 to 75 minutes. Construction work is due to start before the end of 2015, however, no opening date is known yet.
(Source: Diário da Manhã)

Brasília – Luziânia

This route of about 60 km length will use the existing freight line of FCA and serve the Bernardo Saião station in Brasília. The detail planning, currently under way, comprises the construction of new halts and the upgrade of existing stations. Some passing loops are also required. 4-car diesel railcars with a capacity of 900 people per unit will run at a maximum speed of 110 km/hour with travel times ranging from 45 to 60 minutes, depending of the number of intermediate stops. Today, some 600'000 people commute from Luziânia and the intermediate towns to Brasília for work or study and it is expected that some 40'000 to 45'000 will use the train. Detail planning is due to be completed by the end of 2013, the works will be awarded during 2014 and the first trains should run 24 months after the start of construction work.
The demand of the Luziânia local government to extend the route within the boundaries of the municipality, away from the existing railway line, will not be met at this time. The Ministry for Transport will watch how traffic developes first and decide later.
(Source: Diário da Manhã)

Salvador

The government of the Bahía state has advertised the extension of the Metro under a Public Private Partnership scheme. The plans envisages the following steps:
Completion of line 1 between Lapa and Acesso Norte
Extension of stage 2 of line 1 to Pirajá and construction of the line from Águas Claras to Cajazeiras.
Construction of line 2 from Avenida Bonocô to Lauro de Freitas.
The entire network is due to be completed by December 2016.
(Source: Revista Ferroviária)

Fortaleza

Construction of the urban railway line Mucuripe – Parangaba in Fortaleza will suffer a delay, because at least 51 families could not yet be relocated. Some of the affected families are living in second generation on railway land. Substitute apartments were offered to them, however they were refused because they are located in other neighbourhoods of the city. A meeting of affected residents produced an alternative proposal for the construction of homes close to the existing houses, but those plans need scrutinised by the city's authorities. It is still hoped that the line can be opened for the football World Cup 2014, although in early June 2013 only 30% of the works are completed.
(Source: Revista Ferroviaria)

Recife

According to media reports, the Metro “Metrorec” is still not ready for the football World Cup 2014. For example, multilingual signage at stations is missing. The Joana Bezerra station is considered dangerous, because motorcycles and even horses are “parked” at entrance doors. It is told that the Cosme e Damião station, close to the Arena Pernambuco which is one of the venues of the World Cup, is lacking any signage apart of the signs showing the direction of trains. On top of it, the station may be too small to accommodate the crowds after the matches as the Arena Pernambuco can host 46'500 people. Furthermore, the planned shuttle bus line between station and arena has not yet been established; not even a stop for it exists, sources told.
(Source: Lance!NET)

Campos do Jordão

Repair and upgrade work at the mountain section between Piracuama and Santo Antônio do Pinhal are still ongoing after the derailment of a railcar near Santo Antônio do Pinhal in November 2012. The accident caused the death of 3 people, and a further 41 were injured. Train service is currently limited to the Pindamonhangaba – Piracuama and Santo Antônio do Pinhal – Campos do Jordão sections. The investigation of the accident is still ongoing, and sources at CPTM, which is in charge of the upgrade work, are unable to tell when operations will be resumed.
(Source: G1 – Vale do Paraíba)

Santos

With some delay, the construction work on the new city railway from Santos to São Vicente started on 29th May 2013. The 9,5 km long line will have 11 stops and electric overhead lines. It will, therefore, be the first modern tramway in Brazil. The fact that the line will be built on the track alignment of the former coast railway Santos – Peruíbe simplifies the construction process considerably and the works are due to be completed within 12 months according to most recent plans. Construction started simultaneously from both terminals. 22 seven-car trains will operate on the line.
A number of legal and technical issues have delayed the start of construction work on the line leading from Conselheiro Nébias (on the aforementioned line) to Valongo in Santos. It was originally planned to open this 6 km long line first. Work will now start from Valongo in September 2013 and the line with its 9 stops is due to be ready for operations a bit over a year afterwards.
(Source: G1 – Santos)

Paranapiacaba

Village and station of Paranapiacaba are to be renovated and preserved for future generations within the scope of a federal programme for the conservation and renovation of historic sites and places. The project includes all railway buildings and the tracks not used by MRS Logística, but not the stored “Locobreques” of the former rope railway to Santos.
The local government of the Santo André municipality were annoyed by the decision of the federal government as no previous consultation took place. The society for the preservation of railway heritage, ABPF, on the other hand, adopted a wait-and-see policy. ABPF operate a heritage train on weekends over a short stretch of line at Paranapiacaba, consisting of a fireless locomotive and a passenger carriage.
(Source: Diário de São Paulo)

Ferrovía do Frango

The Ferrovía do Frango railway project (“poultry railway” as frozen poultry meat is expected to be hauled to the ports) was introduced to the public at the beginning of June 2013. The 862 km long line will connect Dionísio Cerqueira and the port of Itajaí via Chapecó, Herval d'Oeste and Santa Cecília, crossing the Santa Catarina state in west-east direction. Representatives of the towns in the north of Santa Catarina demand, however, a different route which would include existing lines. According to the local government of Joinville, about 1,5 billion BRR could be saved if it was built from Joaçaba to Porto União da Vitória and from there used the already existing line via Mafra and Joinville to the port of São Francisco do Sul. The federal government has since agreed to negotiate the final alignment with the local authorities.
The first plans for the Ferrovía do Frango (also “Ferrofrango”) originate from the late 1980ies, elaborated by the federal railway RFFSA.
(Source: Revista Ferroviária)

Juiz de Fora 

The federal ministry of transport provides 14 Mio BRR to build an avoiding line around the city of Juiz de Fora. Freight trains on the main line Rio de Janeiro – Belo Horizonte could then avoid crossing the city centre of Juiz de Fora with its many level crossings.
(Source: Revista Ferroviária)

São Francisco do Sul and Itajaí

The ports of São Francisco do Sul and Itajaí are investing heavily to attract more freight. Both count on increased rail traffic but Itajaí, however, doesn't even have a rail connection yet! The port authority of Itajaí decided that all construction work has to be carried out in a way which would allow the accommodation of railway track at any time.
(Source: Diário de Santa Catarina)

Lençóis Paulista

The ALL railway company is planning to build an avoiding line around the city of Lençóis Paulista to eliminate the numerous level crossing in the centre. Measures like this are becoming more and more urgent as rail freight traffic is strongly increasing with the ensuing noise pollution and accident risk that affects the towns and cities.
(Source: Jornal Tribuna)

Rail industry

There is an urgent need in Brazil for a rail production facility, based on the big demand of rails for new lines and track upgrades with a prospect of exporting rails to other countries in South America. Several firms have offered to build such a factory in the Minas Gerais state, but as the federal government will part-fund the construction they proposed to build such a facility in co-operation with the Grupo Vetorial in the Mato Grosso do Sul state. The centre-west region will see several new lines in the years to come, and existing lines need urgent upgrades. It is the view of the federal government that even two plants could exist at the same time.
(Source: A Crítica)

Chile

Local traffic EFE

The chilean state railway EFE has sold a second issue of bonds to raise funds for investments in suburban traffic. This time, 379 bonds for a total value of 93 Mio USD were sold, and the annual interest rate is 3,45%. Demand for the bonds exceeded three times the number of available bonds, that big are confidence and interest in the railway!
With those funds and a sum of 372 Mio USD allocated in December 2012, the following local traffic projects will be carried out:
Upgrade of the Santiago – Rancagua line and purchase of 12 Alstom Xtrapolis EMU until end of 2014.
Purchase of 8 additional EMU for MERVAL (Valparaiso – Limache)
From 2014 upgrade of the “Biotren” suburban line San Pedro – Coronel in the southern part of the Concepción metropolitan area, with 39,8 km of new double track and electrification.
In 2014 the upgrade of the 61 km long line Santiago – Melipilla will start. The line will serve 11 stations and 22 new EMU will be purchased. The state president Sebastián Piñera has allocated funds to the tune of 591 Mio USD for this project. It includes the modernisation of all level crossings along the line or their replacement by over- or underbridges. The stations of Maipú, Padre Hurtado, Talagante, Peñaflor and Melipilla will be renovated.

(Source: El Mercurio and La Tercera)

Regional traffic Temuco

The chilean government has confirmed that the planning process is still ongoing to resume regional traffic from Temuco southwards (Osorno, Puerto Varas and Puerto Montt). Again, diesel railcars will cover the route.
(Source: La Tercera)

Santiago - Temuco

TMS, operator of the long-distance trains Santiago – Chillán, is running an increased number of overnight trains from Santiago to Temuco. In the first 5 months of 2013, the train operated four times during the summer holiday season and on public holidays. As all trains south of Chillán are hauled by diesel locomotives which are unable to generate head-end power for the ex-Renfe carriages, a car-conveying coach has been converted into a generator van.
(Source: TMS)

Costa Rica

San José - Cartago

On 17th May 2013, the state railway Incofer resumed passenger traffic between San José and Cartago. The 20 km long line serves the San José Atlántico, Universidad de Costa Rica, Universidad Latina de San Pedro, Freses de Curridabat (2 stops), Tres Rios and Cartago stations. Travel time is about 40 minutes. The opening ceremony was attended by the state president Laura Chinchilla Miranda and the Managing Director of Incofer, Miguel Carabaguíaz.
Trains are worked by Apolo railcars (ex-FEVE Spain) and leave Cartago every 30 minutes starting at 0530 in the morning (8 departures) and from San José starting at 0620 (4 departures). Afternoon services begin from San José at 1530 (8 departures) and in the opposite direction there are 4 departures beginning at 1620. Frequency is again every 30 minutes. This timetable is operated Monday to Friday, but additional services on weekends are also offered. It is planned to add direct trains from Heredia to Cartago.
Weekday fare is 550 Colones for a single ticket, however, on weekends 2000 Colones for a return trip are charged.
The city of Cartago, who co-financed construction of the entirely new railway station, hopes that the line can be extended soon by one kilometre to the Los Angeles cathedral as traffic demand to that site is heavy, particularly on weekends. A further desired step is the extension of passenger traffic to the neighbour town of Paraíso.
(Source: La Nación)

Dominican Republic

Santo Domingo

On 1st April 2013, Metro line 2 opened for traffic (12,8 km long from María Montez to Eduardo Brito with a total of 14 stations). This new line in east-westerly direction connects at Pablo Duarte station with the north-south line 1. Fifteen 3-car trains from Alstom operate on the line.
(Source: IRJ)

Ecuador

Quito - Durán

The “Tren Crucero” started operations as planned at the beginning of June 2013 and the comments about it are simply overwhelming. Lonely Planet has ranked the train among the “five best railway journeys of the world”. The first round-trip passed without any problems and on schedule. The number of bookings meets the expectations of the operator.
(Source: Financial Times, Lonely Planet and other sources)

Ibarra – Salinas

A mudslide interrupted the Ibarra – Salinas line in April 2013. Contrary to the past, repair work started immediately, and only three weeks later, traffic was resumed. During 2012, more than 17'000 passengers used this service.
(Source: Gerencia Regional Norte FEEP)

Ibarra – Otavalo

he reconstruction of the Ibarra – Otavalo line is running to plan, as the local media and the railway operator FEEP report. On 96% of the 27 km long line, the original track alignment will be used and new tracks laid. The remaining 4% are partly blocked by illegal settlements. Some of the squatters were compensated with alternative space and in some occasions the line will be re-routed. Renovation and upgrade of the San Antonio, Andrade Marín, San Roque and Otavalo stations was awarded to local architects.
(Source: La Hora – Nacional)

Peru

Huancayo

Although the “Metro Wanka” is being further delayed – fencing of the line and installation of barriers at 18 level crossings are still outstanding – planning has already moved one step further. The next stage will include regional traffic on the 42 km long Huancayo – Jauja line, also operated by the danish Y railcars (they are titled as “supermodern” in Huancayo!). That line will gain even more importance because the regional airport Jauja Francisco Carlé is to be upgraded within the scope of a National Development Plan. The new airport will have its own railway station served by the future regional line.
(Source: Metro Wanka)

Venezuela

Yaritagua

Construction of new railway line is due to continue under the new state president Maduro. The state railway IFE reported that the Yaritagua station has now been completed and is ready for operations. It is expected that the first trains from Barquisimeto to Yaritagua will run at some point in 2014 as infrastructure work is now complete. A staff training programme started at the end of May 2013 to prepare train crews for operating the new chinese diesel railcars. Some trains will reach Yaritagua and the local population has been warned against trespassing on the railway tracks.
(Source: IFE)

10.06.2013

Argentina

Nationalization

he argentine Government startet nationalization of some railway companies: Juni 7, 2013 Tren de la Costa was incorporated into SOFSE. Very soon the ALL concessions (Urquiza 1435 mm gauge and San Martín 1675 mm gauge) will be incorporated into state owned Belgrano Cargas. Furthermore there are plans to renationalize Tren Patagonico (Viedma-San Carlos de Bariloche)
(Source: Volta o Trem 17-3)

Delivery from China

The first 17 of 220 long-distance passenger coaches and some diesel locomotives for long-distance passenger trains have already been delivered from China to SOFSE.
(Source: Volta o Trem 17-3)

Buenos Aires - Rosario

The line from Buenos Aires to Rosario will now be rehabilitated.
(Source: Volta o Trem 17-3)

Bolivia

Freight Wagons

Former FEVE of Spain sold 80 flat wagons to Empresa Ferroviaria Oriental in Bolivia. The wagons will arrive at the port of Arica and from there be coneyed by rail over the Arica-Viacha-Antofagasta-Socompa-Güemes-Santa Cruz de la Sierra line.
(Source: Volta o Trem 17-3)

Chile

Santiago-Melipilla

2014 will see the start of upgrading of the 61 km Santiago-Melipilla line, which will open 2016 as a new suburban line. State president Piñera allowed US$591mio. for these works.
(Source: Volta o Trem 17-3)

Costa Rica

San José-Cartago

May 17, 2013 passenger service between San José and Cartago have been reinstated. Within a few days the new service run by ex-FEVE Apolo railcars has been well received by passengers and additional services had to be introduced, trains run ever 30 min. Early morning and in the evening. Within Cartago the line should be lengthened by 1 km to the Los Angeles church.
(Source: Volta o Trem 17-3)

Uruguay

Y1

The frist 3 Y1 railcars arrived from Sweden, the other two will follow shortly. In contrast to earlier announcements passen-ger traffic to Florida and Victor Sudriers will not be reinstated, the railcars may only operate services from Montevideo to Colón and Progreso.
(Source: Volta o Trem 17-3)

10.03.2013

Argentina

Urban traffic

At the start of January 2013, the owner of the Buenos Aires subway system (SBASE) closed Line A for traffic. Allegedly, the trainsets which were delivered in 1913 by the belgian firm La Brugeoise, were considered “unsafe”. However, the technicians of the subway have a completely different opinion about it as they knew them thoroughly; some units having been completely refurbished in recent years. Line A is due to re-open about mid- to end of March of the current year and will feature new EMU's purchased from China. It has been reported that the first units were running for testing and crew training at the end of January. During those runs, the trains appear to frequently have come in contact with platform edges. Technicians from China arrived along with the trains, but they didn't have any knowledge of Spanish. Local subway staff say that the manuals are very imprecise and extremely poorly translated into Spanish. In the meantime, people along Line A have to cope with overcrowded buses as only on two short sections along the route bus schedules were improved during rush hours.
In January, an initiative supported by over 50 organisations from Buenos Aires requested that the Brugeoise fleet (or part of it) be listed as historical monument and also that the entire Line A – the first subway line in Latin America – be listed as Unesco world cultural heritage. It seems that SBASE doesn't appreciate those plans as most of the heritage fleet is dumped in the open without guarding. Precious parts disappear from the coaches day by day. The government of the City of Buenos Aires are not interested in those preservation plans either. Shortly after closure of Line A, the Mayor of the city and a councillor reportedly voiced the opinion that traffic didn't collapse without the subway and that the entire system could be scrapped!

(Source: enelSubte.com and others)

Suburban traffic

The first diesel locomotives for the San Martin line (Buenos Aires – Pilar) arrived from China at the end of January.
In order to replace the ageing commuter fleet of the Sarmiento and Mitre lines, the federal government ordered 400 electric coaches from China Southern. 220 coaches will be assigned to the Sarmiento line and the remaining 180 to the Mitre lines. The first 100 coaches are expected to arrive from July 2013 and delivery of the fleet is due to be completed until June 2014. The value of the purchase is 1265 Mio USD with China financing 85% of the total price by a loan over 10 years.
(Source: La Nación)

Long-distance passenger traffic

At the end of January 2013, Ferrobaires withdrew the train featuring standard class coaches and running from Buenos Aires to Mar del Plata. With this, most intermediate stations lost their service, and parcel service was also cancelled as it was carried on this train. This happened during the main travel season of the year! The technical condition of the coaches didn't allow any further use. Only 2 weeks before cancellation, the route of that train was extended once a week from Mar del Plata to Miramar. The mayor of the seaside resort of Miramar had campaigned for the extension of the service.
With this, only the following services between Buenos Aires and Mar del Plata operate:
“El Marplatense” - Superpullman, twice a week
Trains 315/316 – First class and Pullman only, three times per week
Never in the history this line had such a minimal service.
Addenda: after a couple of weeks, Trains 315/316 were extended to Miramar once a week, again after pressure from Miramar.

Ferrobaires withdrew passenger service between Carlos Casares and Pehuajó due to flooding which had reached the track alignment. A few weeks later, freight traffic resumed, but passenger trains haven't returned to that section (yet?).
(Source: Ferrobaires and others)

Bolivia

Empresa Ferroviaria Andina SA

All trains south of Atocha were withdrawn effective 30th January 2013. This affects the trains “Wara Wara del Sur” and “Expreso del Sur” which keep running between Oruro, Uyuni and Atocha.
The tourist train from El Alto to Guaquí will run monthly in 2013, operating on the second Sunday of each month with a departure time of 0800 from El Alto. The train has stopovers in both Tiwanacu and Guaquí.
(Source: Empresa Ferroviaria Andina SA)

Empresa Ferroviaria Oriental SA

Train service on the eastern network has been slightly reduced. The following services are currently operated:
Santa Cruz de la Sierra – Quijarro Local train, 3 times per week
Santa Cruz de la Sierra – Quijarro Rápido, 3 times per week
Santa Cruz de la Sierra – Quijarro, Ferrobus, 3 times per week
Santa Cruz de la Sierra – Yacuíba, Mixto, once a week
(Source: Empresa Ferroviaria Oriental SA)

Brazil

Cuiabá

On 08th January 2013, the federal government has released the sum of 727 Mio Reais for the construction of the 22,3 km long light railway Cuiabá – Várzea Grande. This is the second payment to that scheme which is due to be operative in 2014, right on time for the Football World Cup. Five sections will be elevated, and another four will be built in cuttings. Three bridges will also be needed. A train will carry 400 passengers and a peak-time frequency of 4 minutes is envisaged. An independent body is supervising the investment and so far, no corruption has been detected.
(Source: Revista Ferroviária)

Fortaleza

The Metrofor south line from Fortaleza Central station to Pacatuba should have opened for traffic in December 2012 with a delay of 2 ½ years. However, a further delay of 6 months is impending. The contractor who is to build the stations of José de Alencar and Chico da Silva has delayed the works and will hand over those stations in March 2013 at the earliest. The delay occurred because that contractor at one time stopped all works due to safety concerns because the overhead lines were already switched in and electric trains started running for testing and crew training.
Only after the definitive start of commercial operations the stations of Juscelino Kubitschek and Padre Cícero will be opened as works there are at an early stage (about 20% completed). Opening is expected during 2014.
(Source: various newspapers)

Maceió

In the first week of January 2013, CBTU Maceió took delivery of its eighth DMU supplied by Bom Sinal. After a testing period of 4 weeks, this DMU will start revenue service. Together with the 2 old loco-hauled rakes CBTU Maceió now operates a fleet of 10 units and plans to introduce a completely new timetable in order to offer considerably more services on the Maceió – Lourenço de Albuquerque line.
(Source: CBTU)

Porto Alegre

An amount of 2,4 billion Reais will be spent in Porto Alegre for the construction of a subway system with works starting in March 2013. A public consultation held in the Rio Grande do Sul state and supported by the local media showed that this project is one of the three most urgent infrastructure projects in the state. Twelve contractors, all from the Rio Grande do Sul state, will build the 14,88 km long line which will connect the city centre with the northern suburbs. The supplier of the rolling stock has not yet been chosen. Construction will follow the cut-and-cover method (a cutting which later will be covered), which would require only 3 to 6 months to complete. It is envisaged to open the line in 2017 at the latest.
(Source: various newspapers)

High-speed line

At the beginning of February 2013, the Brazilian government announced that the high-speed line linking Rio de Janeiro with São Paulo and Campinas will be built under any circumstances. During a long time it was hoped that the private sector would handle construction of the infrastructure, but this didn't occur. Now the government will directly take care of that. The government is still seeking expressions of interest for the supply of rolling stock and for operating the line with suitable candidates likely to be found. The evaluation of systems (TGV, ICE, Shinkansen or others) will last until August; the decision is then to be made in September 2013.
As already several contractors have been selected for the various stages of the project, the start of construction is expected in the second half of 2014. Land acquisition is already ongoing since 2012.
There seems to be no alternative to the high-speed line as, to catch up with the increasing passenger volume in this corridor at least two more motorways and two or three additional airports would be required. The overall cost for these would, however, be significantly higher than those of the proposed rail link.
(Source: Revista Ferroviária)

Tourist trains

Serra Verde Express, operator of the Curitiba – Paranaguá, Trem do Pantanal and Viana – Araguaia trains, will start operating three more services during 2013 and 2014:
The “Trem dos Mares Costa Verde” will connect Itacuruçá and Praia de Santo Antonio in Mangaratiba from July 2013. The line runs over 18 km along the coast southwest of Rio de Janeiro on the 1600 mm (5 ft 3 in) network. A Budd diesel railcar will be rostered to cover the services.
Also in July 2013, a tourist train will commence between Mairinque and São Roque. The line is 12 km long and part of the metre-gauge former Sorocabana railway. Theme of the train is the wine production in the São Roque area.
About 2014 operations are expected to commence on the 70 km long metre-gauge line linking Barra Mansa and Angra dos Reis. Passenger coaches will be refurbished during this year, and negotiations with FCA, concessionaire of the line, regarding track access and the lease of a diesel locomotive have already started. Within the next 10 to 12 months track repairs have to be carried out on the line which counts with a huge number of bridges and tunnels. The municipality of Angra dos Reis is eagerly awaiting the return of the train because until the mid-1990ies the federal railway RFFSA operated the tourist train “Trem da Mata Atlántica” between Angra dos Reis and Lídice until privatisation terminated with it. The line starts in the Paraíba valley, crosses the Serra do Mar and terminates at the Atlantic coast.
Passenger potential for the three lines is high as the lines to Mangaratiba and Angra dos Reis are within excursion distance from Rio de Janeiro, while the line to São Roque is close to São Paulo.
(Source: Revista Ferroviaria and others)

Freight traffic

The swiss manufacturer Stadler delivered at the end of January 2013 another two electric cogwheel locomotives to the operator MRS. Those broad-gauge (1600 mm/5 ft 3 in) locomotives will, like the identical ones delivered in 2012 and currently under testing, be running on the cogwheel section of the São Paulo – Santos line below Paranapiacaba.
(Source: various)

Fares

To keep public transport fares for bus and rail at a low level, state president Dilma Rousseff wants to lower taxes for the operators of public transport.
(Source: Volta o Trem 17-2)

Chile

Tourist train Valdivia – Antilhue 

The tourist train Valdivia – Antilhue could not operate during the 2012/2013 summer season because the authorities closed the line due to bad track condition.
(Source: Tren Rodante and others)

Temuco

The government has requested a study from the state railway EFE about re-opening of the line south of Temuco (Osorno or Puerto Varas) for passenger service. EFE has to calculate the cost of track repair and level crossings and the government will make its decision based on those figures.
(Source: EFE)

Arica – Visviri

At the end of January 2013 the first test run on the Arica – Visviri line took place with a freight train of 12 wagons. The 206 km long line has been refurbished for 45 Mio USD from the state railway EFE's budget. The line was closed for 8 years. Currently, the Port Authority of Arica holds the concession and they are looking for a business partner to operate it.
Media in Chile criticize that the bolivian section between Charaña and Viacha is still in bad condition which prevents the line from being an efficient transport route.
(Source: various)

Costa Rica

Excursion Trains

Incofer will commence scheduled local passenger service between San José and Cartago during the second half of February 2013.
During January and the first half of February 2013 the railway operated excursion trains on weekends from San José to Alajuela and Tres Rios near Cartago. Coaches of the tourist train “Tren a la Tica” were used. The tickets were sold at an accessible price for anyone (1000 Colones, about € 1,50) and, although travel times were only 45 to 50 minutes each way, local food was offered to the passengers.
Addenda: Opening of the San José – Cartago route has been deferred until April 2013 because works at Cartago station could not yet be completed as planned.
(Source: Nación)

Ecuador

Ibarra - Otavalo

The state railway FEEP presented plans to rebuild and reopen the 27 kilometres long line from Ibarra to Otavalo to the municipalities along the line on 9th and 10th February 2013.
Those plans are already very detailed and include refurbishment or reconstruction of the stations at Otavalo, Andrade Marín, San Roque and San Rafael as well as the partly refurbished station at Ibarra. Works will commence in the next couple of months and operations are scheduled to start in 2014.

FEEP run more and more trains for schoolchildren and underprivileged residents of the communities along the railway. These are run as special services and are very well frequented. In 2012 numerous trains operated from Durán, Quito and Riobamba, while in January 2013 services between Ibarra and Salinas were offered, followed by runs from Ambato to Cevallos the next month. The purpose of those events is to explain the importance of the railway for the communities served, familiarise young people with the railway and to help preventing vandalism.
(Source: FEEP)

Jamaica

Spanish Town - Linstead

After a bit over a year, Jamaica Railway Corporation ceased operation of the passenger train between Spanish Town and Linstead in August 2012. Until December it was hoped to continue that service, however, this didn't materialise.
The reasons for this negative development are various:
The closed highway through the gorge near Bog Walk has reopened, leading to increased competition from the bus sector. On the other hand the government didn't keep their promise to rebuild and reopen the line from Spanish Town to the capital Kingston, the cause being the disastrous financial situation of the state. This makes it impossible to further subsidise rail operations. The limited train service, despite very high demand, produced a loss of JM$ 24 Mio (about € 187'000) per year. The state is forced to close or to get rid of all operations which run at a deficit. A rail service from Linstead through to Kingston could have covered its costs.
The government offers the possibility to the private sector to take over the railway and to operate it without state subsidies.
(Source: Jamaica Gleaner)

Peru

Huancayo 

The new urban railway in the city of Huancayo, to be marketed under the brand of “Metro Wanka” and due to commence service in March 2013, will be delayed. The track repairs within the city only started in March 2013; heavy plant has been transferred to Huancayo for this.
There is still a number of agreements involving the city of Huancayo which need signed. Intermediate stops and its platforms have not been built yet, and the city government requests securing some well-frequented level crossings with automatic barriers. That equipment hadn't been sourced yet at the beginning of March. On top of it, the city of Huancayo insists on establishing a separate stopping point for the urban railway at the current railway station in order to separate passenger flows of tourist trains from those of the urban railway.
(Source: Metro Wanka)

Trinidad & Tobago

Port-of-Spain

The urban railway of Port-of-Spain will not be built as swiftly as planned. Although some preparatory work (land acquisition, relocation of utilities etc.) has already been carried out with government funds, the project has been stopped until further notice. As a consequence of the international finance and debt crisis, the country currently does not have access to the needed loans. This caused the French contractors and providers of rolling stock and electrical equipment who were selected to carry out the works, to withdraw from the project. At this time the government hopes, in light of the already accomplished preparatory works, to find interested parties who would not only build the system but who would also achieve funding of the works.

Although very little remains of the former railway in Trinidad, yet every year there is an important and memorable moment in the life of the few railway enthusiasts of the country. Always on the 30th of August at 1712 hours, a minute of silence is observed in order to commemorate the last departure of a passenger train from Port-of-Spain to San Fernando in 1965.
(Source: The Trinidad Guardian)

Uruguay

Melo

The state railway AFE started in February 2013 dismantling the tracks at Melo station. Melo hasn't been served by freight trains for a long time, and a few years back, a stretch of several hundred metres just south of the city was converted into a footpath with benches and lanterns. However, with the lifting of tracks in the station yard the future of railways in Melo has been lost forever.
(Source: various)

Venezuela

Mourning Period

During the mourning period about the late president Chavez passengers can use the suburban trains between Caracas and Cúa for free.
(Source: Volta o Trem 17-2)

10.02.2013

Argentina

Buenos Aires - Mar del Plata

Ferrobaires supended the daily second-class train between Buenos Aires and Mar del Plata during the main travel season due to the bad condition of the coaches. This left this important line with just 5 weekly services. Never in the history of this line train services have been such reduced.
(Source: Volta o Trem 17-1)

Carlos Casares – Pehuajó

After some floodings Ferrobaires suspended the Carlos Casares – Pehuajó passenger train, even after reopening of the line for freight trains, the passenger train didn’t went back.
(Source: Volta o Trem 17-1)

San Martin suburban line

The first two Chinese-built diesel locomotives for the Buenos Aires San Martin suburban line arrived in Argentina.
(Source: Volta o Trem 17-1)

Bolivia

Tupiza - Villazón

Empresa Ferroviaria Andina suspended all trains between Tupiza and Villazón from January 30, 2013 on. The reason for this step is unkonwn.
(Source: Volta o Trem 17-1)

Brazil

Serra Verde Express

Serra Verde Expresso, operator of tourist trains, like Curitiba-Paranaguá, will start with three more services. Mid-2013 will see the start of a railcar service between Itacuruçá and Mangaratiba (18 km) near Rio de Janeiro. End-2013 a service similar to this from Curitiba may start on the 70 km Barra Mansa – Angra dos Reis line and July 2013 may see the start of a tourist train between Mairinque and São Roque a 12 km long line west of São Paulo.
(Source: Volta o Trem 17-1)

Chile

Tacna - Arica

The Tacna – Arica Railway will be rebuilt and put again in service by the local government of Tacna with some financial help from the Peruvian government. Sources are indicating that some elements of the study for rehabilitation of this railway, done by FLB-Member David Sorg will help for the re-development of the line.
(Source: Volta o Trem 17-1)

Peru

Tacna - Arica

The Tacna – Arica Railway will be rebuilt and put again in service by the local government of Tacna with some financial help from the Peruvian government. Sources are indicating that some elements of the study for rehabilitation of this railway, done by FLB-Member David Sorg will help for the re-development of the line.
(Source: Volta o Trem 17-1)

17.01.2013

Argentina

Freight traffic

A free trade area is planned at General Pico (La Pampa province), and this should trigger the re-activation of the railway line from Realicó to General Pico. La Pampa province hopes that this move would also lead to the extension of the weekly SOFSE Lincoln – Realicó passenger service to General Pico. The existing lines from Olascoaga and Pehuajó to La Pampa still suffer from flood damage and their repair hasn't even been discussed.
(Source: Fahrplancenter)

Long distance passenger traffic

The federal government has announced that it will repair the infrastructure of the Buenos Aires – Rosario and Buenos Aires – Mar del Plata lines. Reports suggest that a new track could be laid parallel to the existing double track line in the case of the Rosario route.
(Source: Fahrplancenter)

Materfer delivered a fifth new railcar for the weekly Paraná – Concepción del Uruguay service. All new railcars operated by the Entre Rios province rail operator UEFER were paid for by the federal government. Despite the more than sufficient number of units for the scheduled services offered, all passenger trains within Entre Rios won't run during January 2013 in order to facilitate maintenance of rolling stock.
(Source: Fahrplancenter)

Regional traffic

Contrary to repeated announcements, the “Tren Expreso Regional Puntano” didn't start operations neither in October nor in November 2012. A new starting date hasn't been given as yet. That service with the marvellous name is supposed to connect the cities of Justo Daract and Villa Mercedes and will consist of a single railcar.
(Source: Fahrplancenter)

The Los Amores – Cacuí railcar service in the Chaco province has recently been extended to the Resistencia railway station on weekdays.
(Source: Fahrplancenter)

The Resistencia station building has been fully refurbished.
(Source: Fahrplancenter)

Brazil

Freight traffic

Since November 2012, an environmental impact study is being prepared about the construction of a new freight railway leading from the port of Paranaguá to the west, bypassing the metropolitan area of Curitiba. The study is funded by both the Paraná state and the federal government.
(Source: Fahrplancenter)

Ferronorte

Track laying on the section to Rondonópolis is well progressed. The last remaining 80 km to Rondonópolis are nearly complete and traffic is expected to start during 2013.
(Source: Fahrplancenter)

The federal government has also decided to further continue construction towards Cuiabá, starting in 2014.
(Source: Fahrplancenter)

Transnordestina

Industrial action and problems with land expropriations cause an increase of construction costs for the Salgueiro – Suape and Pecém – Salgueiro – Eliseo Martins lines. The opening of the lines, originally scheduled for the end of 2012, has been postponed until 2015.
(Source: Fahrplancenter)

Cacequí – Santana do Livramento

The refurbishement of the Cacequí – Santana do Livramento line has been completed with a minor delay. It is now possible to resume international rail freight traffic between Brasil and Uruguay.
(Source: Fahrplancenter)

Vehicles

In 2012, EMD opened a new plant at Sete Lagoas (Minas Gerais state). During the year, the first 21 locomotives for Eldorado Celulose were built. VLI (Valor da Logistica Integrada) has also ordered 14 locomotives of the same SD70Aces type.
(Source: Fahrplancenter)

Passenger traffic – long distance

The Vale mining group has ordered 100 new passenger carriages from Arad in Romania for a total cost of 100 Mio Euros. The first 28 carriages will be delivered in January 2013 and will go to the Estrada de Ferro Carajás. It is, however, not yet clear if the new coaches will replace the current rake – running three round-trips a week between São Luis and Parauapebas – or if the timetable will be increased to a daily running.
(Source: Fahrplancenter)

According to the manufacturer, 96 passenger carriages, 2 generator vans and 2 luggage vans will be built for Vale. The fleet of 96 passenger coaches will consist of first class as well as standard class carriages. As track gauges of both 1600 mm and 1000 mm are mentioned, it is believed that part of the fleet will go the Estrada de Ferro Vitória a Minas (Vitória – Belo Horizonte). Delivery of the vehicles will stretch until 2015.
(Source: Fahrplancenter)

São Paulo

The construction of the CPTM suburban line 13 to the Guarulhos/Cumbica International Airport is facing huge criticism because it has been decided to establish its terminus at Terminal 4 of the airport, apparently in order to separate it from the planned high speed line Rio de Janeiro – São Paulo, which will also call at the airport. A free bus shuttle should transfer passengers from Terminal 4 to the significantly busier Terminals 1 and 2 and vice-versa. CPTM line 13 will branch off at Engenheiro Goulart station from line 12 and reach the airport mostly on an elevated alignment. The total cost is estimated at 1,2 billion Reais, and a fleet of 8 new trains will be ordered for the new branch.
(Source: Fahrplancenter)

Brasília

The set-up of a local train service from Brasília Estação Rodoferroviária via Bernardo Saião and Jardim Ingá to Luziânia has been advertised in December 2012 by ANTT, the federal authority for land transport. It would use the existing metre gauge line which also sees the FCA freight trains. Some sections will be doubled in order to accommodate timetable needs, and a short branch line will connect the city centre of Luziânia. At a later stage, it is planned to extend the line within Brasília to Asa Norte. The passenger trains will be diesel powered.
(Source: Fahrplancenter)

ABPF

The brazilian federation of heritage railways ABPF has joined forces with the land transport authority ANTT in order to prepare a nationwide inventory of railway lines, buildings and vehicles of all sorts. It has been discovered that the state railway companies RFFSA and FEPASA had incomplete inventories and ceased to update their respective records when they went out of business.
(Source: Fahrplancenter)

Guararema – Luis Carlos

The fully refurbished steam locomotive 353, along with passenger carriages 288, 289 and 1089 were transferred at the end of September from São Paulo Moóca via Manoel Feio to their new area of action, which is a section of the São Paulo – Rio de Janeiro line. The set was hauled by an MRS diesel locomotive.
(Source: Fahrplancenter)

Chile

Passenger traffic

Trenes Metropolitanos of Santiago has now fully taken over the long-distance traffic from TerraSur. Even the TerraSur website was deleted.
(Source: Fahrplancenter)

The “Expreso Maule”, which ran for a short period on a daily basis between Santiago and Talca, has now resumed its operation, and the route has been extended from Santiago to Linares, south of Talca.
(Source: Fahrplancenter)

A new Sunday service has been introduced on the metre-gauge line Talca – Constitución; it will operate during the summer months. A railbus will do a round-trip from Talca to González Bastias and back with stops at Corinto and Curtiduría. This service will run until early March in order to meet the high demand during the summer months.
(Source: Fahrplancenter)

Tacna – Arica

The government of the Tacna province is finally providing 6 Mio Nuevos Soles (over 2,2 Mio USD) for track repairs on the 62 km long line from Tacna to Arica (Chile). Also, the Toshiba railcar of the Huancayo – Huancavelica line is supposed to be transferred to Tacna in order to have a “more modern” vehicle available for service.
(Source: Fahrplancenter)

Costa Rica

Local traffic

Train service on the suburban line between Curridabat and Cartago, east of the capital San José, will start in January 2013, thus suffering a delay of about 3 months.
(Source: Fahrplancenter)

Ecuador

Passenger traffic

Through traffic between Durán (Guayaquil) and Quito will start on 4th June 2013. On this date, the first “Tren Crucero” will run over the full length of 445 km in public service.
The cruise train will cover the entire line in 4 days and the passengers will have opportunities for sightseeing en route. Hotel accommodation and meals will be included in the package. The set consists of 4 carriages; it will be hauled by a diesel locomotive between Quito and Riobamba, while on the spectacular part of the line between Riombamba and Durán, the train will be steam-powered by a refurbished steam locomotive (No. 17, according to initial reports).
The train can accommodate a total of 54 passengers; it will be possible to book part-journeys of one, two or three days. Package prices therefore range from USD 236 up to USD 1270 for the entire journey. Departures from Quito are scheduled for 4th and 16th of June, 2nd, 16th and 30th of July, 13th and 27th of August, 3rd, 17th and 31st of December 2013. The return journeys from Durán will start 5 days after the mentioned dates.
(Source: Fahrplancenter)

Mexico

Freight traffic

The reconstruction of the Ixtepec – Tapachula line in the federal state of Chiapas is finally making good progress. That line and most of its numerous bridges were destroyed by hurricane “Stan” in 2005. Freight trains are running over almost the full length of the line, and there are sections which see 3 trains per week and direction. In Tapachula, the line will be built on an entirely new alignment and will reach the city from the south instead from the west as originally. A new bridge across Rio Coatán is already in place, but problems with land expropriations caused delays to the construction of the accesses to the new bridge.
The reconstruction of the line will also help to expand the Pacific port of Puerto Chiapas/Puerto Madero near Tapachula.
Freight trains of the Tapachula – Ixtepec line are heavily frequented by migrant workers travelling from their homes in Central America to North America. Assaults on those “passengers” are almost the order of the day.
(Source: Fahrplancenter)

Paraguay

Freight traffic

The project of building a new railway system through the south of Paraguay is taking more and more shape. The 530 km long line will start at Presidente Franco at the brasilian border, then go to Curupayty and later to Resistencia in Argentina. The metre-gauge system will connect the most productive region of the country. The project was first presented by the south-corean cooperation agency Koica. In the meantime, the international group Rio Tinto has demonstrated great interest in it, as Rio Tinto has plans to build an aluminium plant in the catchment area of the line. Favourable political signals are coming from Brazil, because a metre-gauge connection from the brazilian Atlantic coast via Paraguay to Argentina is on the “wish list” for a long time already.
The paraguayan state railway FEPASA seems to clearly prefer that scheme, which puts the execution of the Asunción – Encarnación rebuilding project in doubt, particularly since the budgeted costs appear to keep rising even before the first sod is cut. This project is proposed and promoted by a swiss-austrian-german syndicate.

(Source: Fahrplancenter)

Peru

Tacna – Arica

The government of the Tacna province is finally providing 6 Mio Nuevos Soles (over 2,2 Mio USD) for track repairs on the 62 km long line from Tacna to Arica (Chile). Also, the Toshiba railcar of the Huancayo – Huancavelica line is supposed to be transferred to Tacna in order to have a “more modern” vehicle available for service.
(Source: Fahrplancenter)

Ferrocarril Central

The operator of the central railway system has decided to use the second-hand railbuses of the Y type (Lynetter), which were purchased in Denmark, for an urban/suburban traffic at Huancayo. A frequent service under the “Metro Wanka” brand is expected to remove up to 10'000 car journeys per day from the streets. Traffic should start in March 2013, and the fare is quoted between 0,90 and 1,00 Nuevos Soles.
Ferrocarril Central is also planning to introduce regional traffic with “Lynetter” units on the sections Huancayo – Jauja, Huancayo – La Oroya and La Oroya – Cerro de Pasco. Public runs were offered on 21st and 22nd December 2012 between Huancayo and Jauja.

(Source: Fahrplancenter)

Uruguay

Passenger traffic

Some pressure from the Departamento Florida seems to have slightly changed the views about passenger traffic. However, instead of the proposed repair of the existing Fiat passenger carriages, the state railway AFE purchased 5 second-hand Fiat/Kalmar diesel railcars in Sweden for a total value of 1,3 Mio USD. The railcars are due to arrive soon in Uruguay and they should cover the existing services between Montevideo and 25 de Agosto as well as the resumption of services on the Montevideo – Florida and Montevideo – Victor Sudriers lines. Although the purchase of passenger rolling stock is welcome, it is not the full solution, simply because one of those railcars does not even have the capacity of a Fiat passenger coach. The existing service to 25 de Agosto is suffering from a lack of capacity.
(Source: Fahrplancenter)

Freight traffic

2 diesel locomotives and 40 freight wagons will be acquired for a total value of about 10 Mio USD, as there is a prospect of hauling major quantities of stone to the port of Montevideo.
(Source: Fahrplancenter)

Infrastructure

According to latest news, the track upgrade on the Chamberlain – Salto line is supposed to start during 2013.
(Source: Fahrplancenter)

Venezuela

Passenger traffic

The start of passenger service from Barquisimeto to Yaritagua, originally announced for December 2012, has been postponed until further notice. Some of the road overbridges along the line are still under construction and were not completed on time.
(Source: Fahrplancenter)

23.12.2012

Argentina

Buenos Aires - Rosario & Buenos Aires - Mar del Plata

The Argentine government finally decided to rehabilitate the main lines from Buenos Aires to Rosario and Mar del Plata and new trains from China may be bought for these two very important main lines.
(Source: Volta o Trem 16-8)

Costa Rica

San José – Cartago

Opening of the San José – Cartago passenger line may be delayed by about two months.
(Source: Volta o Trem 16-8)

Ecuador

Quito - Durán

Ecuadorian Railways begins to operate through trains Quito - Durán from June 2013, a 4-day rail-cruising will be available from about US$ 950 on.
(Source: Volta o Trem 16-8)

Mexico

Coatzcoalcos - Mérida

According to local newspapers State president Calderón, at the end of its term, wanted to dismantle the Coatzacoalcos – Mérida line and stopped rehabilitation of the Mérida – Progreso line, because of the rundown infrastructure and the low traffic density. But dismantling took not place. Until the end of 2012 the lines to Yucatán and Tapachula may get a new operator, currently FerroSur is operating the lines on behalf of state-owned Ferrocarril del Istmo de Tehuantepec FIT. Currently freight trains operate 2 to 3 times per week between Ixtepec and Tapachula; about weekly Veracruz - Coatzacoalcos and Coatzacoalcos – Mérida, with some others on shorter sections and nearly daily between Mérida and Valladolid. Petroleum products and cement are the main comodities on the branch line to Valladolid.
Newly elected president Nieto has another railway policy. He asked the state secretary for transport SCT to invite bids for concessions for the following passenger train operations: México – Querétaro using the existing line, no TGV-Project; México – Toluca; a new line from Yucatán to Quintana Roo state, and expansion of the urban railways of Guadalajara and Monterrey.

(Source: Volta o Trem 16-8)

Peru

Metro Wanka

Urban Rail company Metro Wanka at Huancayo will begin operations in March 2013 using the Danish railbusses impor-ted recently second-hand. December 21 & 22 Ferrocarril Central operated public trips with the Danish railcars bet-ween Huancayo and Jauja and there are plans to establish a regional line between these two cities.
(Source: Volta o Trem 16-8)

Uruguay

AFE

AFE buys 5 Y1 railcars from Sweden (built 1979-1981 by Fiat/Kalmar) to rehabilitate passenger services to Florida and Victor Sudriers. Pression from the local government at Flo-rida helped for this decision. On the other side the planned refurbishment of the Fiat coaches has been stopped.
(Source: Volta o Trem 16-8)

04.11.2012

Argentina

Ceaseation of Talgo Trains

SOFSE has to cease the operation of its Talgo trains between Buenos Aires and Mar del Plata for the high maintenance costs of the trains.
(Source: Volta o Trem 16-7)

Journy Time Extension

Between Presidencia Roque Sáenz Peña and Chorotis journey times of the railcar service had to be extended by more than 30 minutes due to bad track condition.
(Source: Volta o Trem 16-7)

Inundation

Train services between Linclon and Realicó have been suspended for an unknown period due to inundation of the line.
(Source: Volta o Trem 16-7)

Brazil

Tourist Train

Plans for a new tourist train to Mangaratiba on the coast near Rio de Janeiro have been presented.
(Source: Volta o Trem 16-7)

Track Redevelopement

Rehabilitation of the international line Brazil-Uruguay reached the border station of Santana do Livramento.
(Source: Volta o Trem 16-7)

Derailation

A railcar of the Pindamonhangaba – Campos do Jordão electric interurban line derailed near Santo Antônio do Pinhal because of braking problems Saturday November 3, 2012, causing the death of 3 people and 42 have been injured.
(Source: Volta o Trem 16-7)

Build of tramcars

Bom Sinal may build the new electric tramcars for the new tramway in the city of Foz do Iguaçú. A novelty for Brazil.
(Source: Volta o Trem 16-7)

Uruguay

Track Redevelopement

Removal of vegetation on the line from Algorta to Fray Bentos is currently under way, apparently to present the bad infrastructure to a Brazilian company who may repair the line.
(Source: Volta o Trem 16-7)

Rehabilitation of the international line Brazil-Uruguay reached the border station of Santana do Livramento.
(Source: Volta o Trem 16-7)

12.10.2012

Argentina

Tranvía del Este

Tranvía del Este tram line in Buenos Aires ceased operation definitively October 11, 2012. Services operated on an experimental base since 25 July 2007.
(Source: Volta o Trem 16-6)

Bolivia

Cochabamba

The city of Cochabamba plans to relocate the main railway station and to put a suburban train service into operation.
(Source: Volta o Trem 16-6)

Chile

Tacna-Arica

This train ceased to run after a construction engine destroyed a section of track. The construction company is not willing to repair the damage.
(Source: Volta o Trem 16-6)

Ecuador

New Trains

October 2012 saw the introduction of two new trains in Ecuador. Thursday to Sunday a railcar runs from Riobamba to Urbina, the heighest station of the network and also Thursday to Sunday a train runs from Riobamba to Colta on the shores of Colta Lake.
(Source: Volta o Trem 16-6)

Mexico

Tarahumara/Chepe

The local train Tarahumara is no longer running. To replace this service tourist train Chepe has now second class coaches attached four times a week.
(Source: Volta o Trem 16-6)

Mérida – Progreso

The freight only line Mérida – Progreso is currently under-going some refurbishment.
(Source: Volta o Trem 16-6)

Peru

Tacna-Arica

This train ceased to run after a construction engine destroyed a section of track. The construction company is not willing to repair the damage.
(Source: Volta o Trem 16-6)

Exhibition 100 Years Lima Desamparados Station

Koki Zelaya’s exhibition at Desamparados station at Lima, which has been supported by FLB and some of FLB’s members is well visited and will close October 19. Unfortunately Ferrocarril Central has not granted the assured financial support, leaving Koki with partly unpaid bills. One week after opening the exhibition unfortunately Koki’s father, Don Telmo Zelaya Revolledo, died leaving the family without any support, worsing the entire situation a lot. Fahrplancenter did again some financial help, but it would surely be a theme on the next FLB meeting on October 27th. Thank you for your attention and help in the name of Koki Zelaya.
(Source: Volta o Trem 16-6)

Venezuela

New railway line

First test runs took place on a section of the line Puerto Cabello - Encruzijada which is under construction.
(Source: Volta o Trem 16-6)

Existing Railway

IFE announced that passenger train services between Barquisimeto and Yaritagua may now definitively start end-december 2012.
(Source: Volta o Trem 16-6)

02.09.2012

Argentina

Suburban Traffic

After the devastating train accident at Once railway station in Buenos Aires, which killed 51 persons and injured over 700, and the subsequent intensive investigations, the licence of the train operator TBA (Trenes de Buenos Aires) was finally revoked. Operation of the TBA lines was handed over to another UGOFE, formed by Metrovías and Ferrovías.
Remedial work has started eventually; extensive repair work on the Once – Moreno line has begun.
(Source: Fahrplancenter correspondents; Satelite Ferroviario; Rieles Latinoamericanos; Crónica Ferroviaria)

TBA

Following revocation of the licence of Trenes de Buenos Aires (see Suburban traffic), the Pilar to Apostoles and Pilar to Paysandú (Uruguay) services were withdrawn without any substitution services. Those trains were operated by Wadloper multiple railcars ex NS. The Buenos Aires/Retiro to Rosario service is now operated by UGOFE.
(Source: Fahrplancenter correspondents; Satelite Ferroviario; Rieles Latinoamericanos; Crónica Ferroviaria)

SOFSE

On 2nd July and after several delays, the public passenger train operator SOFSE started passenger services between Salta and Güemes. An „Apolo“ DMU ex FEVE (Spain) is being used. The new service has proved to be very successful right from the beginning and tickets are usually sold out the previous day. Therefore, a second round-trip (Monday to Friday) has been introduced in August, along with a round-trip on Saturdays.
SOFSE has started rehabilitation work on the railcars used on regional services in the Chaco province. For this, the vehicles are transferred by road to the Laguna Paiva workshops near Santa Fe.
(Source: Fahrplancenter correspondents; Satelite Ferroviario; Rieles Latinoamericanos; Crónica Ferroviaria)

SOFSE/Ferrobaires

The line Buenos Aires – Mar del Plata, currently used by both operators, is in such a bad condition that even for the Talgo trains of SOFSE travel time from end to end had to be extended to about 6 hrs. As a consequence, SOFSE reduced its offer to one train per week during August. Ferrobaires alone is responsible for the infrastructure on this line.
(Source: Fahrplancenter correspondents; Satelite Ferroviario; Rieles Latinoamericanos; Crónica Ferroviaria)

Justo Daract – Villa Mercedes

A local initiative will operate local services between Justo Daract and Villa Mercedes from October 2012, using a railcar. Justo Daract is located at kilometer post 654 of the Buenos Aires – Mendoza main line. The plans also include re-activation of a section of the former branch line to Villa Dolores (Villa Mercedes to La Toma, 79 km) for freight and passenger traffic and, at a later stage, the 99 km section Mercedes – San Luis. This would invalidate the plans of San Luis city to dismantle the railway tracks within its jurisdiction and use the space for construction of an expressway.
(Source: Fahrplancenter correspondents; Satelite Ferroviario; Rieles Latinoamericanos; Crónica Ferroviaria)

Freight traffic

Freight traffic between Encarnación and Posadas (Argentina) has been resumed in June 2012. During the first week, already 500 tonnes were carried.
According to information from the railway administration in Asunción, a full reconstruction of the line Encarnación – Asunción seems to be more and more unlikely. It is intended to focus on the section Encarnación – Ruta VI – Fram – General Artigas.
(Source: EntornoInteligente; FEPASA; local newspapers)

Brazil

Cuiabá

Based on a court order dated 17 August 2012, construction work on the planned urban railway (VLT) of Cuiabá has been resumed. It is hoped that the first line can be completed within 640 days. The preparation work had to be interrupted after a fact-finding committee considered a Bus Rapid Transit system (BRT) to be more economic. The overall cost for the urban railway will be 1,477 billions of Reais, while the BRT system would have cost 323,89 millions of Reais. The 40 trains of the Urbos type for the 23 km long network will be built by CAF in Spain; delivery is expected to start in October 2014.
(Source: Fahrplancenter correspondents)

Foz do Iguaçú

As a big flow of visitors is expected to visit the Iguaçú waterfalls during the football World Cup 2014 and the Olympic games 2016, the city of Foz do Iguaçú has suggested the construction of a 40 km long urban railway VLT to connect the National park at the waterfalls via the city centre with the University for Latin American integration. The final project should be presented by the end of August 2012. The railway will be built in two stages; funding will be requested from the federal treasury.
(Source: Fahrplancenter correspondents)

Natal and João Pessoa

CBTU have ordered a total of 20 diesel multiple railcars from Bom Sinal. 12 trains will go to Natal and the other 8 to João Pessoa.
On the Natal network, the first new lightweight units will cover the line Natal – Estremoz, while they will also cover the routes Natal – Parnamirim and Natal – Ceará Mirim at a later stage.
(Source: Fahrplancenter correspondents)

Recife

The first lightweight diesel railcars built by Bom Sinal have been delivered and are currently undergoing testing. They will gradually take over from the old trains composed by locomotives and carriages. The first line to receive the new railcars is Cajueiro Seco – Cabo and then Cajueiro Seco – Camaragibe.
(Source: Fahrplancenter correspondents)

Rio de Janeiro

The suburban train operator SuperVía has received delivery of the first electric multiple units built in China. The fact that the trains have been built according to north american AAR standards – the manufacturer proudly mentions it! - causes the need to increase station platform heights and their widening.
(Source: Fahrplancenter correspondents)

The metro of Rio de Janeiro have also received their first China-built trains. As those trains exceed the current loading gauge, the tunnels have to be widenend by a few centimetres.
(Source: Fahrplancenter correspondents)

The metre-gauge suburban line to Guapimirim, operated by the „Central“ company with diesel traction, will finally be refurbished. Rolling stock will be integrally renovated in order to enhance passenger comfort.
(Source: Fahrplancenter correspondents)

São Paulo

The government of São Paulo state is negotiating construction of the Ferroanel (ring railway) with the federal governemnt, as this project is pivotal for the development of the entire railway system in the São Paulo metropolitan area. The ring railway will follow the alignment of the motorway ring around the metropolis and relieve the city centre from freight traffic, which in its turn would enable improvements of passenger train services. Freight trains could run via the ring railway 24/7; currently the dense suburban train traffic only leaves the night hours for freight trains to cross the city. This improvement would save about 2 Mio of lorry journeys per year transiting São Paulo.
(Source: Fahrplancenter correspondents)

MRS Logística is planning to build new central workshops for diesel locomotives a Paraíba do Sul (Rio de Janeiro state).
(Source: Fahrplancenter correspondents)

The government of São Paulo state is putting the federal government under pressure in order to finally build the ring railway, so that the suburban railway CPTM can be extended and improved. The railway lines in the city centre will be shifted to a subterranean alignment which will also accommodate the planned regional lines. Those are as follows:
São Paulo – Jundiaí – Campinas (first section to be built until Jundiaí)
São Paulo – São Roque – Sorocaba
São Paulo – ABC – Santos
São Paulo – Guarulhos – São José dos Campos (this line will later be integrated into the high-speed corridor Río de Janeiro – São Paulo – Campinas).
(Source: Fahrplancenter correspondents)

Minas Gerais

A new steam-hauled vintage train service started on 21 July 2012, connecting the city of Rio Acima with the suburb of Bairro Labareda. Its commercial name is „Trem das Cachoeiras“ (Train of the waterfalls), as the 3,5 km long line is passing several waterfalls. The train runs up to 7 times on Saturdays and Sundays.
(Source: Fahrplancenter correspondents)

São Paulo

Feverish activity is going on between Guararema and Luiz Carlos, a section of the old main line Rio de Janeiro – São Paulo. Both station buildings are being refurbished, and a new locomotive shed is under construction.
(Source: Fahrplancenter correspondents)

Rio de Janeiro

Rio de Janeiro state, along with the municipalities of Magé and Petrópolis, are planning to rebuild the railway line from Guapimirim to Petrópolis. It was part of the first railway line of Brazil. The alignment is still completely extant, however, at some spots residents have to move their buildings or relocate altogether as they are too close to the line. In the Magé municipality those works are already under way.
(Source: Fahrplancenter correspondents)

Colombia

Freight traffic

Ferrocarril del Pacífico S.A.S., the third train operating company for the Pacific network since 1998, has resumed freight traffic to the port of Buenaventura on 1st August 2012 after an interruption of about 10 months. It is expected to carry some 5000 tonnes of freight in the first month; and until the end of the current year a volume of 25\'000 tonnes should be reached. The operator is to spend US$ 16 Mio for the repair of track and structures, supported by the national infrastructure authority ANI.
(Source: La República)

Infrastructure

The national infrastructure authority ANI has advertised in August 2012 for tenders in order to refurbish the main line in the Rio Magdalena valley between Chiriguaná and La Dorada. Work is expected to take 12 months. Within the same timeframe, the line La Dorada – Bogotá – Belencito should also be refurbished. This should attract new operators for freight traffic by rail.
(Source: La República)

Costa Rica

Incofer

On 23rd May 2012 the public railway company of Costa Rica, Incofer, signed a further contract with the spanish railway company FEVE about the purchase of 6 diesel multiple railcars of the Apolo type. The value of the transaction is 4,5 Mio Euros and includes re-gauging and overhaul of the 2-piece sets. Delivery will take place in October 2012 in order to re-open the 23 km long line from San José to Cartago before the end of the year. Infrastructure work on that stretch is nearly complete. With the latest batch, Incofer will operate 14 Apolo units.
(Source: Nación, San José)

Cuba

Regional traffic

Heavy rainfall around the 9th of June 2012 disrupted the railway line from Trinidad to Meyer at more than 12 places, with severe damage resulting. Over 1500 m³ of material, mostly stones, had to be carried to a number of spots with difficult access in order to repair the line. Heavy plant and ballast wagons had to be sourced from other parts of the country and brought by road to this isolated line. According to the cuban newspaper Granma the cost of this operation rose to an amount of 568'000 Cuban Pesos. On 21st of August the line Meyer – Trinidad – Casilda was operated throughout by a small railcar. The traffic to Meyer is considered to be indispensable as the minor villages along the line are not connected to the road network.
(Source: Granma)

The state railway UFC has resumed regional traffic between Santiago de Cuba and Antilla in mid-2012 after an interruption of 7 years. A full rebuild of a bridge between Herrera and Antilla, which had been distroyed by a hurricane, was required for this. The train runs Monday to Saturday and consists of renovated Taino carriages. Press reports (Granma and others) indicate that this re-activation is part of the strategy of the cuban railways to impulse and strengthen regional traffic.
(Source: Granma)

According to the party newspaper Granma, the province of Ciego de Avila is among the most actives in the field of re-activation of regional train connections. Some of the new services run on tracks which formerly belonged to the sugar ministry MINAZ. Those lines have now been integrated into the state railway UFC. By request of the province, the following services have been added or re-activated, in addition to the existing ones: Morón – Perea, Morón – Ciego de Avila – Silveira, Ciego de Avila – Limones Palmero, Ciego de Avila – Baragua. The railcar service Morón – Punta Alegre will be converted to a train with locomotive and carriage in order to increase capacity. Currently, a locomotive is under repair for this purpose.
(Source: Granma)

Ecuador

Ferrocarriles del Ecuador

The rehabilitation of the Quito – Durán railway line is progressing rapidly. It is expected that through traffic can resume during 2013. Among other ideas, it is planned to operate a regular steam-hauled tourist train over the full length of the line.
The „Tren de la Dulzura“ will start operations at the end of 2012; it will connect Durán and Bucay.
(Source: Ferrocarriles del Ecuador)

El Salvador

FENADESAL

The spanish railway company FEVE hopes to close a deal with the public railway FENADESAL envisaging improvement of suburban traffic around San Salvador. Currently, only a limited service on weekdays connects San Salvador and Apopa. Both parties consider the reactivation of the San Salvador – Soyapango line as useful. This would, however, require a comprehensive rehabilitation of the infrastructure. FEVE also sees this as a chance to sell more Apolo trainsets. Experts from outside FEVE are wondering where those trains should come from as FEVE has now sold almost their entire Apolo fleet to Costa Rica and Argentina.
(Source: Fahrplancenter correspondents, FEVE)

Guatemala

Suburban Traffic

The spanish operator FEVE has reached an agreement with the state railway administration FEGUA about the creation of a suburban train system in and around the capital Ciudad de Guatemala. FEVE intends to support FEGUA with the overhaul of existing diesel locomotives and passenger carriages. The network will be operated in two sections. Line 1 will start at the Central station northbound, across the famous Viaducto Las Vacas and reach the north bus terminal; 12 intermediate stops on 12 km route length. Line 2 will also originate at the Central station, then head southbound as far as the Puente Justo Rufino Barrios; 10 km route length with just 3 intermediate stations. In a second stage, it is hoped that second-hand diesel railcars of the Apolo type can be sourced for this traffic. FEGUA claims that the infrastructure is in good condition and only the wooden sleepers would need to be replaced by concrete sleepers.
(Source: Siglo XXI-Guatemala)

Mexico

Ciudad de México

The Metro of Ciudad de México will start services on the first section of Line 12 from Tlahuac to Atlalilco at the end of August 2012. The inhabitants of the city could use the line since July 2012 free of cost on weekends as a preliminary operation.
The continuation of Line 12 from Atlalilco to Mixcoac should be open for traffic in November 2012.
(Source: Fahrplancenter correspondents)

Quintana Roo

The federal state Quintana Roo has resumed its project of rail-based regional traffic and has reached an agreement with spanish rail operator FEVE about the detailed planning. It is envisaged to build a low-cost „Tram-Train“ linking the cities of Cancún, Cozumel, Solidaridad, Benito Juárez, Isla Mujeres and Tulum and also providing local traffic within those cities. The region at the Quintana Roo coast is one of the most important tourist destination of México with an advanced degree of modernisation. A solution of transport problems for tourists and local people is therefore crucial.
(Source: Fahrplancenter correspondents)

Passenger traffic

The new state president Enrique Peña Nieto has addressed the issue of long distance passenger traffic after his election to the supreme post. He suggests to reduce the project of a high-speed railway line Ciudad de México – Guadalajara to a line Ciudad de México – Querétaro and to postpone the continuation to Guadalajara to a later stage. With this, provision of funding for the high-speed rail scheme should be easier, Mr. Peña Nieto said.
(Source: Fahrplancenter correspondents)

Paraguay

Freight traffic

Freight traffic between Encarnación and Posadas (Argentina) has been resumed in June 2012. During the first week, already 500 tonnes were carried.
According to information from the railway administration in Asunción, a full reconstruction of the line Encarnación – Asunción seems to be more and more unlikely. It is intended to focus on the section Encarnación – Ruta VI – Fram – General Artigas.
(Source: EntornoInteligente; FEPASA; local newspapers)

Peru

Ferrocarril Central

The popular tourist train Lima – Huancayo will, despite steady demand, only operate 6 round trips in 2013. A reason for this severe reduction of the offer has not been revealed.
The dates are:
Departing Lima 28th March, 29th June, 26th July, 30th August, 5th October and 1st November.
Departing Huancayo: 31st march, 1st and 29th July, 1st September, 8th October and 4th November.
All trains will run during daytime.
(Source: Fahrplancenter correspondents)

Tren Macho

The passenger train Huancayo – Huancavelica is running again. It departs Huancayo on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 06.30 hrs; the departures from Huancavelica take place on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays at 06.30 hrs. At present, only one locomotive is in operating condition.
The government is preparing legislation to secure the long-term existence of this train which is socially very important for the region. Voices in the government environment talk about an extension of the line past Huancavelica via Lachoc and Castrovirreina to Pisco at the Pacific coast. In the past, the track had already stretched as far as Lachoc; and the project to Pisco dates back to the 1920ies.
(Source: Fahrplancenter correspondents)

Infrastructure

In spring 2012 a project for a standard gauge railway link from Piura to Lambayeque in northern Perú was presented. The line should carry freight and passengers; it could be the first stage of the long-awaited coast railway between northern and southern Perú.
On the other hand, a number of ministers have requested the construction of a high-speed line along the coast.
(Source: Fahrplancenter correspondents)

Uruguay

Passenger traffic

At the end of May 2012, the state railway AFE withdrew passenger services to Victor Sudriers, Florida and San José. Services were reduced to two round-trips Monday to Friday between 25 de Agosto and Montevideo, supplemented by two round trips Monday to Friday between Montevideo and Progreso.
The Brill railcars are not available anymore as AFE considers them to be unsafe for carrying passengers. The two remaining Uerdinger railbuses are still used for special excursions.
AFE has advertised for spare parts for the Fiat passenger carriages and the Alsthom locomotives; both types of vehicles dating back to the first half of the 1960ies.
(Source: Fahrplancenter correspondents)

Infrastructure

Finalisation of the track upgrade works between Pintado and Rivera has been delayed as a number of flaws was detected.
Track repair and upgrade has started on the Chamberlain – Tres Arboles section, one of the most run-down stretches of the network in operation
Near La Paloma, track has been dismantled in order to build an access road to the La Paloma port. That road will be used for hauling pulp wood from the Rocha area to La Paloma port. From that point, the pulp wood will be shipped – an estimated volume of 1,8 Mio tonnes per year – to Fray Bentos. Seemingly, nobody thought about using the existing rail link Rocha – Victor Sudriers – 25 de Agosto – San José – Fray Bentos for this flow of traffic and to repair and re-open those lines.
Railway authorities insist on repairing the Montevideo – Rio Branco line (457 km), however, such measures are much more urgent on other lines.
(Source: Fahrplancenter correspondents)