Friends of Latin American Railways

News Uruguay


Montevideo – Paso de los Toros

The Ferrocarril Central del Uruguay project was presented in August 2017. It proposes the upgrading of the 273 km long line Montevideo – Paso de los Toros for an axle load of 22,5 tons and a maximum speed of 80 km/h for freight trains. Some sections of the line will be straightened, and populated areas will be bypassed or tunneled. The participation of private investors is envisaged as the overall cost of the project is expected to be in the region of US$ 800m to 1bn. There is considerable time pressure as the work needs to be concluded within 2 years. The Finnish firm Botnia/UPM plans to build a cellulose plant at Paso de los Toros but this is, however, hinged to a high-capacity rail link.
(Source: AFE)

Montevideo - 25 de Agosto

The improvements to the passenger trains between Montevideo and 25 de Agosto, orginally announced for September 2017, have been postponed until further notice.
(Source: AFE)



The state railway AFE is currently implementing a new, satellite-based traffic control system via GPS. In addition, signalling in the Montevideo area is being replaced and upgraded to CTC. Throughout the country, new warning systems will be installed at major road crossings.
(Source: AFE)

Y1 Railcars

Two of the seven Y1 railcars, which were imported second-hand from Sweden in 2017, have been repaired and refurbished in Uruguay, and test runs took place. The state Railway AFE has announced that some of these railcars will be operational in September 2017, and it is understood that this will lead to a re-design of the passenger timetable.
(Source: AFE)

Passenger traffic

As AFE hardly generates any revenue apart from local passenger traffic between Montevideo and 25 de Agosto, they have discovered special trains as a promising field of business. On 3rd June 2017 a special train operated from Montevideo to Florida to provide access to the San Cono festival, and during the winter holidays railcars operated between Montevideo and Peñarol on a number of days. Back in April 2017, a special train ran from Montevideo to Minas, bringing local tourists to the annual Virgin of Verdúm festival. During Easter week (called Semana de Turismo in Uruguay), train service was established on the lines to Sudriers, San Ramón and 25 de Agosto.
(Source: AFE)



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)


Piedra Sola – Algorta – Salto

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


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)


Algorta – Fray Bentos

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


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)


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)


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)


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)


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)


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)


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)


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)


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 or at
(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)


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 The railcar may help to start passenger services between Montevideo and Minas.
(Source: Volta o Trem 17-5)


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)



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)



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)


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)


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



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)


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)


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)


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)