Published Tuesday, April 27, 2021
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff
The Railway Institute, INCOFER, inaugurated at 6:30 p.m. on Monday the first route of the diesel-powered trains purchased from China.
In 2018, the Institute purchased eight trains from the Chinese company CRRC Quingdao Sifang Co. for approximately $32,659,122.
Two trains route last night, of approximately 14.2 miles (about 23 kilometers), left from the Atlantic Station in San José Province until arriving at Cartago Province train station.
According to the institute, the rest of the train routes, between San José Province and the provinces of Alajuela, Heredia, and Cartago, will be enabled gradually this week.
However, until further notice an extra route between the provinces of San José and Alajuela, crossing through Heredia Province, may not be enabled due to repairs on the railways near Santo Domingo Canton.
In January, the second cargo with four diesel-powered trains purchased in China arrived at the Caldera Port in Puntarenas Province. The very first shipment of four diesel trains arrived in the country in December 2020.
That company is a wholly-owned subsidiary of China South Locomotive and Rolling Stock Industry Corporation, CRRC, which is located in Qingdao, a coastal city in China.
In 2018, the Institute announced the arrival of trains scheduled for April 2020, however, due to the pandemic, the delivery was delayed by the Chinese company until December 2020, according to the government.
Each of the eight trains has an engine and passenger cars for a total length of 38 meters, a capacity of 372 passengers, air conditioning, preferential seats and space for two wheelchairs per carriage, high technology radio system and a display system with LED screens.
Trains are made from stainless steel and are expected to last for up to 30 years.
According to the institute, the deal included specialized machinery and a stock of spare parts for the workshops that will maintain the new trains.
The equipment included lathes, bearing pits, precision special forklift equipment, train washing machine, traveling crane gantry, milling machine, hydraulic jacks, gas measurement equipment and a gas test bench.
Before purchasing the eight trains, the institute used 11 Apollo trains and four locomotives with 24 passenger cars to provide transportation between San José and the provinces of Heredia, Cartago and Alajuela.
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