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Chilean government has recently approved a US$ 1.9 billion 2020-22 investment plan of Chilean State Railways. The work on the US$ 1.3 billion projects to introduce a commuter rail service between Santiago and Melipilla will start in June this year while construction of the US$ 650 million Santiago–Batuco line and the US$ 220 million Biobío rail bridge in Concepción will commence next year.
Chilean State Railways is also planning to modernise the Santiago – Chillan inter-city service at a cost of US$ 115 million. This includes constructing a rolling stock maintenance centre – a tender for engineering studies was launched on April 20. Technical bids will be opened on July 13, 2020, followed by the economic bids on July 31, 2020, with the contracts expected to be awarded in August this year.
Chilean State Railways is planning to partially finance the works through a US$ 130 million bond issue which is expected to take place soon.
Other projects include the renovation of the Talca–Constitución line, expanding Valparaíso’s commuter rail service to Quillota and La Calera, rolling stock purchases for the Santiago–Nos–Rancagua commuter line and upgrading the freight link to San Antonio.
The 2020-22 plan is part of a long-term US$ 5.57 billion investment plan intended to raise the annual number of passengers carried from around 50 million at present to 174 million in 2027, and annual freight tonnage from 11.5 million to 21 million over the same period.
Officials from Chilean State Railways said that 42% of the planned investment would be for suburban services over existing lines from Santiago to the south, southwest, and northwest, serving new housing developments.
The bulk of the money will finance the new commuter rail service from Santiago Alameda to Malloco and Melipilla. The project was tendered in 2002 but received no valid bids, largely due to a difference in opinion between Chilean State Railways and Santiago Metro. The new project will be implemented solely by Chilean State Railways and, with annual ridership estimated at between 30 and 50 million passengers, would be Chilean State Railways’ most heavily used service, reported Rail Journal.
According to the plan, around 20% of the investment would be for suburban services serving the cities of Valparaíso and Concepción and around 20% of the investment is aimed to facilitate freight movement by rail, especially between Santiago and a new mega port to be built at San Antonio, on the coast to the west of Santiago.
“In the first stage, the track layout would be improved at the port end, a new freight terminal designed at the city end, and passing loops lengthened along the single-track line. During the second stage, the terminal would be built and the whole line upgraded to double track, including through tunnels”, said in the statement.
The post Chilean Govt approves US$1.9 billion rail investment plan for 2020-22 appeared first on Urban Transport News.
This article first appeared on www.urbantransportnews.com
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