Friends of Latin American Railways

News Chile


Santiago – Concepción

EFE has put the night train Santiago – Concepción back into operation for the summer season until March. It leaves San-tiago every Friday night and Concepción every Sunday night.
(Source: Volta o Trem 26-0)


An initiative by the Tacna Free Trade Zone and the Chilean Chamber of Commerce sees great potential for freight and passenger traffic in the reactivation of this international railway. Up to 7 million annually passengers were calculated for 2059 and several million tons of goods, which would make the railway very profitable.
(Source: Volta o Trem 26-0)


San Fernando - Santiago

Oct. 12, 2021 EFE reintroduced local trains between San Fernando and Santiago after several years. In a first time there are 2 train pairs Monday to Friday only. Dec. 12, 2021 the first 2 of 6 Chinese-built new trains for the Santiago – Rancagua local traffic have been presented to the public.
(Source: Volta o Trem 25-3)


Talca – Constitución

Due to infrastructure works railcar services run mostly once a day in each direction only.
(Source: Volta o Trem 25-2)


Limache – La Calera

The planning work for the extension of the Merval Suburban line from Limache over 25 km to La Calera has been completed. The tender for the reconstruction of the line will be issued at the end of 2021. The line is to be set up to one track for freight traffic and 2 tracks for passenger traffic and reelectrified.
(Source: Volta o Trem 25-1)

Arica - Visviri - Viacha - Oruro

For the first time after 16 years, May 07, 2021, a loaded freight train arrived from Arica at the border station Visviri after a journey of 2 days. At Visviri a Bolivian Locomotive was waiting to forward the train, charged with 466 tonnes of steel-coils on 8 wagons, to Oruro. The initiative for reopening of the line came from a Bolivian soya exporter, which want to convey soy-beans for export to Peru and Ecuador by train. May 08 saw truck drivers dumping tonnes of earth on the rails at the entry of Viacha to avoid the train to pass. They fear to loose tonnage to the railway.
(Source: Volta o Trem 25-1)

Tacna - Arica

Tacna province called the national transport ministry to examine the situation of the railway to Arica and re-nationalize it. The results of this study are not yet known.
(Source: Volta o Trem 25-1)


New Trains ordered

State Railways EFE ordered now the 6 new trainsets for US$70mio. for the long-distance Santiago – Chillán service. The broad-gauge trains, built by CRRC-Sifang (China) have a maximum speed of 160 km/h and may be capable to run elec-trically under catenary, but also with diesel on non-electrified sections. With these trains fast services between Santiago and Chillán (398 km) may take no longer than 3 hours 40 including some intermediate stops from 2023 on. Next orders may include new trains for the Santiago – Rancagua suburban services and for the Talca – Constitución metre-gauge line.
(Source: Volta o Trem 24-9)


Tacna – Arica

After 7 months closure of the Tacna – Arica line due to the covid pandemy the line suffered so many damages, that services can’t restart again. There was some vandalism and the only railcar (nr. 261) suffered also from many damages. Unfortunately neither local or nationale authorities show any interrest to sepnd a cent for rehabilitation to repair all and reopen the line. Furthermore some illegal settlements have been errected extremly close to the track and electric poles have been put between the rails.
(Source: Volta o Trem 24-8)


Corona Update

Under strict hygienical measures train services are increasing also out-side the regional services : Santiago – Chillán operates now with 2 train pairs daily (1 on weekends).
(Source: Volta o Trem 24-7)

Delivery of Trains

End 2020 starts the delivery of the China-Built new electric and diesel trains fpr the Bio-Bio Suburban service (Concepción), Corto de Laja Regional-service and Victoria-Temuco line.
(Source: Volta o Trem 24-7)


Corona Update

Under strict hygienical measures train services are back out-side the regional services : Santiago – Chillán 1 pair/daily ; Talca – Constitución again normal with 2 trains daily ; Temuco – Victoria 1 daily; Talcahuano – Laja daily reduced offer.
(Source: Volta o Trem 24-6)


Passenger traffic

Under strict hygienic measures, train services beyond the suburban operations are back: Santiago – Chillán 2 daily round-trips; Talca – Constitución with the habitual 2 daily trains; Temuco – Victoria 2 daily round-trips; Talcahuano – Laja daily, but with a reduced timetable.
(Source: Volta o Trem 24-5)


Corona Update

Suburban railways (Nós, Rancagua, Valparaíso, Concepción) are operating but with reduced frequencies. The Talca – Constitución railbus operates normally for being an essential service, thus tourists are currently not allowed to use it. Temuco – Victoria is cancelled as all tourist trains.
(Source: Volta o Trem 24-2)


Metro Santiago

Santiago Metro suffered of damages on rolling-stock and installations of about US$ 300million during the recent unrest in the country. No other railway was touched so hardly.
(Source: Volta o Trem 24-1)

Constitución - Talca

For the first time after many years the timings of one buscarril (Railbus) service between Constitución and Talca changed. The evening departure from Constitución was postponed by 90 min to 17.15. This eliminates the traditional crossing with the evening service from Talca at Gonázlez Bastías, the two railbusses are now crossing at Forel station, 62 km from Talca. The morning services continue to cross at González Bastías.
(Source: Volta o Trem 24-1)


Metro Santiago

The Metro Santiago system suffered heavily during the riots in late 2019. Damage to vehicles and infrastructure is estimated at US$ 300m; no other railway line/system in the country was hit that hard.
(Source: Fahrplancenter/Volta o Trem)

Limache on the Santiago – Valparaiso route

The Tren del Recuerdo has a new destination: Limache on the Santiago – Valparaiso route. After two successful test runs in December 2019, the first public train operated on 11 January 2020 to Limache. Regular passenger service on this line ceased back in 1986; and only the Limache – Valparaiso Puerto section sees frequent movements by the Metro Valparaiso suburban system. During the summer (holiday) months January and February the Tren del Recuerdo runs every Saturday, now alternating between San Antonio and Limache.
(Source: EFE/Tren Chile/MetrotrenHD)

Constitución - Talca

For the first time in many years, the timing of a Buscarril from Constitución to Talca has been substantially changed. The evening run from Constitución was retimed by 90 minutes, departing now at 17:15. This means that the crossing of the two afternoon trains was moved from its traditional spot at González Bastías to Forel, 62 km west of Talca. The morning trains keep crossing each other at González Bastías.
(Source: Fahrplancenter/Volta o Trem)

Overnight Train Santiago - Concepción

EFE has expanded their range of tourist trains by adding an overnight train Santiago to Concepción. During the summer months there is a train every fortnight, departing from Santiago on Friday evening and returning from Concepción on Sunday evening. In recent years those trains operated to Temuco and featured car conveying wagons, but this is not now offered. Coaching stock is formed by ex-spanish carriages, purchased from Renfe in 2003, while traction is provided by two veterans. On the electrified section from Santiago to Chillán the italian-built E-3020 from 1961 is at the helm of the train. At Chillán, the GE D-16005, built in 1954, takes over to bring the train to its final destination.
(Source: EFE/Tren Chile)


Copiapó – Paipote

In September 2019 Ferronor started a new tourist train over a distance of 12 km between Copiapó and Paipote, using refurbished rolling-stock. The train will run once a month on a Saturday. For this purpose the line has been rebuilt, because it was completely destroyed by floods in 2015.
(Source: Volta o Trem 23-6)


Limache - Quillota - La Calera

Now it is for sure that the MERVAL Regional Railway will be extended from Limache to Quillota and La Calera. The project includes reconstruction of the two existing tracks for passenger transport and laying of a third track for freight traffic. Construction may start in 2021 and opening to service is planned for 2024 or 2025.
(Source: Volta o Trem 23-3)


New Bridge over Rio Bio Bio

The state railway company EFE is currently revising the project to build a new, efficient railway bridge across the Bio Bio river near Concepción. This bridge will carry an electrified double-track line across the river so that suburban railway traffic on the Concepción to Coronel (to Lota in the future) can be increased. A substantial increase of freight traffic is also expected as industrial estates south of the Bio Bio river are expanding. The revised project will then be submitted to the environmental authorities for approval.
(Source: Mundomaritimo)

Santiago – Rancagua – Chillán

After completion of engineering work at Paine, travel times of all trains on the Santiago – Rancagua – Chillán route could be reduced by around 10 minutes.
(Source: EFE/Tren Central)

Limache – La Calera

The project to extend the Merval suburban railway (Valparaiso to Limache) from Limache to La Calera has been restarted. Studies are being conducted to ascertain the financial requirements.
(Source: El Mercurio)

Suburban railway Conceptión

Planning work is currently ongoing for the reopening of the Concepción to Lirquén line for suburban passenger traffic. This section, which sees freight trains running to Lirquén port, crosses sufficiently populated areas and justifies reactivation for passenger traffic. Construction work is envisaged to start only after 2020. A rebuild of the line further north to Tomé is not possible anymore, because the properties along the coast were sold some years ago and are now built over.
(Source: El Mercurio, Fesur)


Santiago – Rancagua / Santiago – Chillán

Trains from Santiago to Rancagua and Chillán have now shorter journey times by 10 min. because a level-crossing at Paine was replaced by a road tunnel and other infrastructure repairs have been carried out.
(Source: Volta o Trem 23-2)


Train to the Stars

The „Train to the Stars“ (Tren de las Estrellas) Arica – Central will run on 22 February 2019, leaving from Arica at 20.00 and returning after midnight. At Central it will be possible to observe the stars on the night sky.
(Source: Volta o Trem 23-1)

Santiago - Casablanca - Valparaíso

It is very probable that the government will announce construction of the new railway for goods and passengers from Santiago to Val-paraíso in 2019. The new line will be built for 200 km/h for passenger trains and 85 km/h for freight trains.
(Source: Volta o Trem 23-1)


Santiago Alameda – Rancagua

Regional traffic between Santiago Alameda and Rancagua has resumed with an all-day timetable under the „Metrotren Rancagua“ brand. Trains run about every two hours per direction. For quite some time and due to construction works, services were limited and ran all day on weekends only.
(Source: EFE/Tren Central)

Valparaíso – Limache

Much to the annoyance of the communities along the route, the project to extend the „Metro Valparaiso“ suburban railway (Valparaiso – Limache) to La Calera has been postponed again.
(Source: El Mercurio)

Santiago – Chillán

The state railway EFE is currently preparing the tender documents for the purchase of six or seven trains for the long-distance route Santiago – Chillán.
(Source: EFE, El Mercurio)

Santiago – Melipilla

A flurry of appeals and a second environmental impact study are again delaying the refurbishment and upgrade to a proper suburban railway of the Santiago to Melipilla line. EFE presses to speed up this process as they wish to commence work no later than 2020 in order to open the route around 2023/2024, some 10 years later than originally planned.
It is currently under evaluation whether the upgrade of the northbound railway line from Santiago to Batuco should be extended to Til Til, as a strong popluation growth is expected for this region north of the capital.
(Source: El Mercurio)


Santiago Alameda – Rancagua

Regional traffic between Santiago Alameda and Rancagua is now running again to its full weekday timetable with a train about every two hours per direction. For quite some time, all-day traffic was limited to weekends due to major trackworks.
(Source: EFE/Tren Central)

Extension Valparaíso – Limache

The project to extend the Metro Valparaiso suburban railway (Valparaiso – San Francisco de Limache) to La Calera has been postponed, much to the annoyance of the affected municipalities. The tendering process has been declared void as no offers were received, but it has been announced that another tender will be out in the near future.
(Source: El Mercurio)

Santiago – Chillán

State Railways EFE and the Chiloean Government decided to study to improve train services between Santiago and Chillán (406 km), reduce journey times from 4h45 to 4 hours for slow services and 3h40 for fast services and more daily services at all. Most improvements will be reached with the installation of automatic level-crossing devices, reducing the number of crossings and fencing the line. New trains will also help to reach this goal, which has a deadline in 2023.
(Source: Volta o Trem 22-9)


Coronel - Lota

Extending the Bio-Tren southern line from Coronel to Lota and construction of a new bridge over Bio Bio river to replace the current 2157 metres long has been decided.
(Source: Volta o Trem 22-8)

Tourist Trains

Ferronor refurbished Copiapó station and is repairing tracks to Paipote (ca. 9 km) to run later a tourist train. A long time pro-ject to reopen the 80 km long line to Caldera, the first railway of Chile, for tourist operation is under preparation.
(Source: Volta o Trem 22-8)


Santiago - Rancagua

Tren Central increased the number of local trains between Santiago and Rancagua. There are again daily services during the whole day.
(Source: Volta o Trem 22-7)

Santiago - Chillán

According to state railways EFE long-term planning sees long-distance services between Santiago and Chillán increased with additional services.
(Source: Volta o Trem 22-7)


Santiago – Chillán

Due to increasing demand Tren Central reintroduced additonal trains on weekends between Santiago and Chillán, one on Fridays from Santiago and one on Sundays from Chillán.
(Source: Volta o Trem 22-6)


Tacna - Arica

The Tacna-Arica Railway completed repairs on the line which led to a reduction of the journey time by about 15 min. Furthermore the depart-ure of the evening train from Arica was advanced by about 15 min. and for the first time since reopening of the line fares increased by about 20%.
(Source: Volta o Trem 22-3)


Normal Operation

A strike of the main parts of the staff brought all trains of the Santiago suburban lines, the Santiago – Chillán long-distance trains and the Talca – Constitución railbus to a complete halt from 1 to 22 December 2017. In the meantime services went back to normal.
(Source: Volta o Trem 22-1)


Ferrocarril Arica – La Paz

The Arica – La Paz Railway operates 2018 the Arica-Poconchile Tourist Train 4 times in January, 3 times each in February and March, 2 times each in April and May and once in June 2018. New are now also trips from Arica to Central. Central at Km 69,8 is at the foot of the former rack section of this railway and the tourist train will reach this destination 16 Dec. 2017; 27 Jan., 24 Feb.; 24 March and 23 June 2018. Further informations
(Source: Volta o Trem 21-9)


Ferrocarril Tacna – Arica

The Tacna-Arica Railway started to rehabilitate railcar nr. 0257 to become a second operational railcar apart of nr. 0261. Additionally some sections of the line are currently rehabilitated and some improvements at Tacna station are carried out. The railway made 300'000 Soles available for these investments for the year 2017. The number of passengers over the first 5 months of 2017 doubled nearly to 19'000 against the number carried from June to December 2016.
(Source: Volta o Trem 21-7)


Tacna – Arica

The southernmost railway of Peru has started repair work on their railbus number 0257 in order to have a second operational railbus as a relief to the normally operating railbus 0261. A funding of 300'000 Soles is available for this, but part of the money will also be used to repair some weak spots on the track, and there will be some improvements made to the Tacna railway station.
During the period from June to December 2016, 10'703 passengers were carried, while between January and May 2017 there were 19'010 passengers using the service. Some 90 per cent of the users came from Chile, while the rest were Peruvians.
(Source: El Comercio)


New Timetables

Ferrocarril Central changed some schedules in August 2017. Journey times of the Santiago – Chillán long-distance trains have been cut by about 15 min. The railbus Talca-Constitución got a slight reduction from 14 to 13 pairs per week and the Tourist-Buscarril Talca – Corinto runs now mostly twice per month.
(Source: Volta o Trem 21-6)


Arica - Poconchile - Bolivia

he directorate of Chilean state railways EFE is planning to reinstate first freight services from Arica to Bolivia and at a later date, if possibly no later than 2019 also a tourist oriented passenger service over the entire line from Arica to Bolivia is planned. During the July holidays tourist trains between Arica and Poconchile (34 km) operated again successfully, bookings exceeded 90%.
(Source: Volta o Trem 21-5)


Heritage day

On Heritage day, May 28, 2017 the population of Arica could visit the railway workshops at Chinchorro and three pairs of trains operated between Arica and Poconchile. The event was well received by a lot of people.
(Source: Volta o Trem 21-3)

Santiago – San Bernardo – Nós

The new suburban service between Santiago – San Bernardo and Nós is heavily used by the local people. Over 30‘000 people are travelling daily on the trains which now operate every 20 minutes between 06.00 and 23.00 hours (Saturdays 07.00-23.00 and Sundays 08.00-23.00).
(Source: Volta o Trem 21-3)


Santiago Alameda - Nós

After 4 weeks of limited operation the new suburban service between Santiago Alameda and Nós started all days operation April 12,2017.
(Source: Volta o Trem 21-2)


Arica - Poconchile

Operation of a new tourist train on a lower part of the Ferrocarril Arica-La Paz will start February 25. For the time being it will run every Saturday until March 25, 2017. The trains are made of a diesel locomotive and two refurbished Schindler wagons. They run at 10.30 from Chinchorro (workshops of the railway at Arica) to Poconchile a distance of 34 km and return at 14.00, journey 90 min. in each direction.
(Source: Volta o Trem 21-1)


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)


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)


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)


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)


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)



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)



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)


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)


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)


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)


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)


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)



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)


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)


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)


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)


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)


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)


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


 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)



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)


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)


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)



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)


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)



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)


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)


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)


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)


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)



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)


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)


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)


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)


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)



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)