Encarnación - Posadas - Garupá
After many years without freight transport to/from Paraguay on rails, Trenes Argentinos Operaciones will reintroduce a freight service to/from Encarnación in Paraguay from an unknown date in September 2020. Since freight traffic to Garupá is well developping Paraguay asked for this possibility to ease export of different comodities which faces problems on the transport over the waterways which have a very low level of water,
(Source: Volta o Trem 24-6)
Concepción – Horquetá – Juan Pedro Caballero – Ponta Porã
A private initiative elaborated a project to build a freight railway from Concepción (North of Asunción) to Juan Pedro Caballero and further to Ponta Porã in Brazil. The line may use the former Concepción – Horquetá line in part.
(Source: Volta o Trem 24-6)
Since the outbreak of the Corona crisis which led to the closure of borders with all neighbouring countries, no movments at all have taken place on the rails of FEPASA (Ferrocarril del Paraguay S.A.). The last train operating was the Wadloper railcar from the Argentinian city of Posadas, crossing the border bridge to reach Encarnación. This meant that FEPASA, which is in a precarious financial state anyway, was about to literally hit the buffers, however, an official decision in this regard has not been taken so far. Railway employees in the town of Ypacaraí (38 km to the east of the capital Asunción) decided to take matters into their own hands. After many years, the whistle of a steam locomotive sounded in Ypacaraí station on 07 June 2020, with locomotive Nr 60 „El Inglés“ (The Englishman) doing the honours. The wood burner has been overhauled and externally renovated to the tune of 244m Guaranies (some 32'000 Euros); many hours have been spent on this. „El Inglés“ was built in 1910 by North British Locomotive Company and is currently the only operational wood burner in South America. Although this first „journey“ covered a distance of just 100 metres, it is a sign of more things to come. FEPASA, in co-operation with the municipalities of Luque, Areguá and Ypacaraí, the National Agency for Tourism and the Ministry of Public Works, are developing the „Tren del Lago“ tourist project in order to have some kind of regular operation. The train will not be able to return to the city of Asunción as the tracks are not accessible (they are „reserved“ for a LRT project that has been postponed on countless occasions). The Tren del Lago will use the section from Luque (8 km from Asunción) via Yuquyry, Areguá and Patiño to Ypacaraí, 30 km in total. Work had started before the Covid-19 crisis took hold, and it is not known at present how far they have progressed. They will continue in July as the restrictions are being lifted and the country reopens. Recent news suggest that the Tren del Lago will initially run on a short stretch within the town of Ypacaraí, beginning on 13 September 2020, circumstances in terms of the pandemic permitting. The following stages will be to Patiño first and then to Areguá.
As a separate project, repair work is carried out on the former main railway station at Asunción. In particular, the wooden parts of the station canopy need replaced as they suffer a lot in the tropical climate. This will also enable re-opening of and access to the railway museum.
(Source: Fahrplancenter/Volta o Trem)
FEPASA is bankrupt
Due to the lack of any activity, including the loss of freight traffic from Encarnación to Argentina, state railways FEPASA have been declared bankrupt. This brought all preparing work to reactivate the tourist train „Tren del Lago“ Luque – Ypacaraí to an abrupt halt.
(Source: Volta o Trem 24-2)
Posadas (AR) - Encarnación (PY)
Because of the very high number of passengers on the railcar service between Posadas (AR) and Encarnación (PY) the operator was trying to get authorization to extend services beyond the current timetable until 18.30. Both countries confirmed the high demand, but at last minute deferred the possibilities to do it so. The operator has now to enlarge the platforms of the two stations to operate double or triple Wadloper railcar compositions and operate them during the normal timetable.
(Source: Volta o Trem 22-2)
Asunción main station
Asunción main station will be rehabilitated during 2018, but there are no plans to connect it again to the railway network.
(Source: Volta o Trem 22-1)
Tourist Train in Encarnación
State Railways FEPASA plans to introduce a tourist train with the existing 3 steam locomotives over the few tracks at Encarnación. It is not yet known which coaches will be brought to Encarnación for this purpose.
(Source: Volta o Trem 21-9)
Government and the state railway FEPASA keep pursuing the project of the suburban railway Asunción – Luque, although this happens considerably slower than expected. Expropriation of illegally occupied property along the track alignment was carried out with a reasonable effort, but there is a major challenge to recover property that had been lawfully made available to third parties for unlimited use some 10 or 20 years ago. In those cases, major structures were built and the users of those buildings now claim huge indemnizations which haven't been included in the project costs so far. A further issue arose in conjunction with the Ñu Guazú motorway construction work. The center divider is property of the railway and will be used to lay the track of the suburban railway, but the Ministry of Transport has authorised construction of a (road) junction at Luque which interferes with the railway alignment.
While the overall project cost amounts to US$ 80m for the entire line, the government has so far only made some US$ 20m available. Most of these funds will have to be used for the aforementioned indemnizations. It is still unclear how the funding gap will be closed, however, the Chairman of the state railway told the press in June 2017: „We will get the suburban railway, one way or another, the only question is when“.
Angostura - Paraguarí - San Salvador - Abaí
Ferroviaria Oriental S.A., operator of the eastern rail network of Bolivia, has applied for the construction of a railway line in Paraguay. The line, which will mainly carry freight traffic, will include the following sections:
- A new line Paraguarí – Angostura, 50,6 km
- Reconstrucion of the former Paraguarí – San Salvador (97,7 km) and San Salvador – Abaí (79.7 km) lines, including a new station at Abaí
The new section of line will lead from Paraguarí in western direction via Nueva Italia to the port of Angostura on the Río Paraguay. On the other hand, the current, unused track alignment will be used and track relaid on the Paraguarí – San Salvador – Abaí section. Axle load will be 25 tons, trains will run at a maximum speed of 65 km/h. Passing loops will be 800 m long. Wherever possible, existing stations will be reactivated. Although the main purpose of the line will be haulage of freight, a limited passenger traffic hasn't been ruled out.
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.
Posadas – Encarnación
The number of daily passengers between Posadas and Encarnación reached now about 8000 per day.
(Source: Volta o Trem 19-3)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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.
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)