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Argentina awards contract for Latam's first high speed train

Thursday, January 17th 2008 - 20:00 UTC
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Alstom won $1.5 bln Argentine rail deal Alstom won $1.5 bln Argentine rail deal

Argentina's president Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner officially announced Wednesday that the French group Alstom and its partners IECSA, Emepa, Isolux Corsan have been awarded the first very high-speed train link project in Latin America.

The line will cross the Argentine farming heartland linking the capital Buenos Aires with the country's second largest cities, Rosario and Cordoba, a distance of 710 kilometers that will be covered in three hours instead of the 14 hours the journey currently demands. President Fernandez de Kirchner made the announcement together with French Transport minister Dominique Bussereau and representatives from the different consortia involved in the 1.5 billion US dollars project that is scheduled to be finished in 36 months time. "This is not only a state of the art public work but an important advance in modernizing Argentina", said Mrs. Kirchner who called on Argentines to be "more optimistic and have more faith on their potential". The first leg of the project to Rosario will have a double rail lane and the train will speed at 250 to 320 kilometers per hour, while the second leg to Cordoba will have a single rail and a cruising speed of 160 kilometers per hour. The service is planned with double deck trains with a capacity of 500 passengers, operating nine return trips every day. French bank Societe Generale will finance most of the project. The project will involve the construction of the infrastructure, including 7 stations and 780 kilometers of tracks, electrification, signaling, the supply of rolling stock and maintenance. Alstom, the consortium leader, will undertake the overall management and engineering of the project, the supply of rolling stock, signaling, communication systems, electrification and maintenance. The trains will be manufactured at Alstom's French plants and assembled at the Alstom site at La Plata, in the province of Buenos Aires. "The Buenos Aires-Rosario-Cordoba line constitutes the largest very high speed rail project since the KTX project in Korea. It represents an essential component in the economic development of Argentina" underlined Philippe Mellier, President of Alstom Transport. Alstom Transport based on net sales for the financial year 2006/07 is the world leader in global railway transport. Argentina has plans for two other high speed projects: one to Mar del Plata, on the Atlantic coast, 400 kilometers south of Buenos Aires and a second more ambitious to Mendoza, next to the Chilean border, 1.000 kilometers from the capital.

Categories: Investments, Argentina.

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