Chile's government on Tuesday unveiled 15 Chinese-made trains as one of the "most important milestones" in an ambitious plan to revamp the country's cargo and passenger railways.
The fleet, tailor-made with an investment of 87 million U.S. dollars for the lines they will serve, will benefit 1.2 million people, Transport and Telecommunications Minister Gloria Hutt said during the presentation of the trains at Central Station, the country's main railway stop located in the capital Santiago.
According to Hutt, the state-of-the-art trains will operate on the Biotren, Corto Laja and Victoria-Temuco lines in southern Chile's Biobio and La Araucania regions, doubling the current speed of train travel and offering "a very high standard for moving people."The president of Chile's State Railway company, Pedro Pablo Errazuriz, praised the "powerful work" of the CRRC Sifang-Temoinsa consortium, saying the quality was "foolproof."
The consortium comprising Chinese company CRRC Sifang and Chilean firm Temoinsa won the tenders to build new trains for Biobio and La Araucania in 2018 and 2019. The trains arrived in the South American country in two separate shipments in February and March.In September 2019, Chilean President Sebastian Pinera presented "Chile on track," a plan to invest more than 5 billion dollars to modernize the country's rail network.
By 2027, the plan aims to double cargo capacity to over 21 million tons and transport 150 million passengers.