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Montevideo, January 23rd 2018 - 07:51 UTC

Chinese locomotives to revive Argentina's cargo train network

Friday, January 5th 2018 - 10:39 UTC
Full article 9 comments
Manufactured by China's CRRC Qishuyan, locomotives are a comprehensive plan to reactivate the rail system by modernizing its aging infrastructure Manufactured by China's CRRC Qishuyan, locomotives are a comprehensive plan to reactivate the rail system by modernizing its aging infrastructure
Argentina has bought 3,500 rail cars, which have already been delivered, and 107 locomotives, along with parts, machinery, tools and shipping containers. Argentina has bought 3,500 rail cars, which have already been delivered, and 107 locomotives, along with parts, machinery, tools and shipping containers.

A new shipment of Chinese-made locomotives arrived in the Port of Buenos Aires on Wednesday to revive Argentina's key Belgrano Cargas cargo train network. The eight locomotives will form part of a strategic rail line that traverses northern Argentina's agricultural heartland and connects producers with the eastern exporting hub of Rosario, a port located 300 km north of the capital.

 Manufactured by China's CRRC Qishuyan, a subsidiary of the CRRC Corporation Limited, the locomotives are part of a comprehensive plan to reactivate the rail system by modernizing its aging infrastructure.

The plan is financed by a US$ 2.47-billion credit line under an agreement with the China Machinery Engineering Corporation. Argentina has bought 3,500 rail cars, which have already been delivered, and 107 locomotives, along with parts, machinery, tools and shipping containers.

Han Bing, deputy director of the Belgrano Railroad Rehabilitation Project, told Xinhua that upgrading the rails “has not only significantly spurred China's exports to Argentina, but also turned into a model of cooperation between the two countries within the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative.”

China is also involved in renovating some 1,600 km of rails in six provinces in Argentina, namely, Jujuy, Salta, Tucuman, Santiago del Estero, Chaco and Santa Fe.

Equipped with heating and air conditioning, reading lights, water heater and LED displays, the new locomotives are safer and more comfortable for conductors.

“With the arrival of the Chinese locomotives, Argentina expects a major increase in the speed of the cargo trains. The total transport time for grains and agricultural products is going to drop, which will help Argentina's economy and exports,” said Zhu Li, the project's assistant deputy director.

In November 2016, Belgrano Cargas transported 121,653 tons of goods, the most it has shipped since October 2000.

Argentina is one of the world's leading producers of grains, but logistic costs eat up to 50% of revenue due to outdated rail infrastructure, a problem the country hopes to address with China's help.

“We are very satisfied with the locomotives and the train cars. The price is a significant advantage. The technology and electronics are also good,” said German Hanacek, who works in the projects department of the state-run Belgrano Cargas and Logisticas company.

Top Comments

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  • The Voice

    I am pretty sure that these locos have Napier Deltic diesel engines. They look identical to the locos I saw in 1984 when I visited the plant that was making two a week. The Chinese were building Deltics under licence. Its a very old but good design. They had a machine that drilled 390 holes in the engine block simultaneously and an army of female drill sharpeners who were a sight to behold rushing forward and back.
    Interesting that SA nations so often buy up superceded technology as a fast route to economic development. Its green and makes lots of sense.

    Jan 05th, 2018 - 11:52 am +3
  • Zaphod Beeblebrox

    BK,

    Your comment makes no sense. A return to the world must, by definition, mean an engagement with the realities of that world. It was CFK who was trying to ignore realities such as 1. When you borrow money you'll have to pay it back eventually. 2. If you try to pretend that your currency is more valuable than it is then the market will adapt to its true value (remember the blue peso?). 3. If you steal money from your people they'll not like it when they realise what you've been doing to them. 4. If you make things difficult for people to trade with you they will tend not to. 5. The truth always comes out eventually. 6. Everything else.

    TV,

    Yes, the Deltic is a good engine with a good power to weight ratio and reliability. They also sound amazing! :-)

    Jan 05th, 2018 - 06:19 pm 0
  • Enrique Massot

    I can see that the old distrust for commercial relations with China has evaporated. Hey, the locomotives have now become good quality for Zaphod and TV!

    Too bad the government has “forgotten” to mention that the locomotives were purchased by the previous CFK government and already under construction when Macri took office.

    Jan 06th, 2018 - 06:17 am 0
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