Friends of Latin American Railways

News Colombia


Corona Update

Turistren runs the Tourist-train Tren de la Sabana again Saturday and Sunday between Bogotá and Zipaquirá. The weekday train between Bogotá and Cajicá seems to operate again, but early morning only.
(Source: Volta o Trem 24-8)


Turistren, Bogotá - Cajicá

Turistren is operating again. A local service runs Monday to Friday between Bogotá and Cajicá. One way fares are ca. € 3,20; trains leave from Bogotá at 05.25 and 17.15 while they return from Cajicá at 07.00 and 18.50. All rules and measures to prevent the spread of the Corona virus are being followed strictly.
(Source: Volta o Trem 24-5)


Ferrocarril del Pacífico

As Ferrocarril del Pacífico (Pacific Railway) did not meet the contract requirements and did not operate any commercial traffic for 3 years, the contract was terminated. It is not the state's first attempt to use a concession to re-activate this rail network in the west of the country. Freight traffic on the other routes, from Bogotá to the north and in the Magdalena Valley, had increased noticeably, even though the quantities were still low due to a lack of rolling stock.
(Source: Volta o Trem 24-4)


Corona Update

Between Bogotá and Zipaquirá there are no trains running until 4th of April 2020. In tickets are sold from 2nd of April on, in Bogotá from the 4th of April.
(Source: Volta o Trem 24-2)


Bogotá - Facatativá

On 07 January 2020, the contract for the construction of the „Regio Tram de Occidente“ was signed in Bogotá. This suburban line will link Bogotá and Facatativá. The route is 39,6 km long, electrified and will be laid in standard gauge of 1435 mm. It will mainly run along the existing but apart of runs to the El Corzo workshops unused railway corridor of the former state railway FCN. Opening of the new system is expected to take place in 2024. The only tender to build the Regio Tram was received from the China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC), which will now be in charge to carry out the work.
(Source: El Tiempo)

Cali: to Yumbo, Jamundí and Palmira

After Medellín and in the near future Bogotá, the city of Cali aspires to belong to the cities with an urban/suburban railway system. The authorities of the Valle del Cauca province an the city of Cali commissioned a feasibility study from the french consultant Systra (owned by SNCF and RATP) to explore introduction of passenger rail traffic on existing, but underused railway corridors. This would involve the following routes: north to Yumbo and east to Palmira, both currently part of the Ferrocarril del Pacífico concession (see article below), and south to Jamundí – a line which hasn't seen any trains for decades.
(Source: Gobernación del Valle del Cauca)

Yumbo - La Cumbre - Buenaventura

Rather as a surprise came the news about the impending re-introduction of freight trains between Yumbo (industrial suburb to the north of Cali) and the Port of Buenaventura on the Pacific coast. Traffic had ceased on 07 April 2017 when the main shareholder of Ferrocarril del Pacífico (FDP) withdrew from the company. It appears that new investors eventually have taken over and legal hurdles been cleared. Freight trains are announced to return in February 2020 and to cover the challenging mountain route. A revival of the Tren Turístico del Café y del Azúcar (TTCA) is also envisaged. A train ran on 27 December 2019 from Yumbo to La Cumbre, consisting of locomotive 1204 and one passenger carriage. At La Cumbre, the train was greeted by a good crowd and the local brass band bid a musical welcome. The village is longing for the return of the TTCA as tourism is the main source of income there.
(Source: Trenes de Colombia/Tren del Recuerdo Colombiano/local correspondents)


Bogotá – Chicamocha

Within 2 weeks 2 freight trains operated over the rehabilitated line from Bogotá to Chicamocha. January 20 204 tonnes of cement from Sogamoso arrived at Bogotá and March 2 140 tonnes of beer have been transported from Tocancipá north to Tibasoa. As long as no concessionaire is available these trains are operated be the national infrastrucure authority ANI.
(Source: Volta o Trem 22-3)


Tren de la Sabana

ren de la Sabana increased the number of weekday (Monday to Friday) trains for students from 2 to 3 in each direction. One is operating between Bogotá and Zipaquirá, the other two between Bogotá and La Caro.
(Source: Volta o Trem 21-7)


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)


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)


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)


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)



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)


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)


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)



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.


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)


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)