A second high speed train for Argentina was announced last week by President Cristiana Fernandez de Kirchner. Three consortia submitted bids to build the Buenos Aires to Mar del Plata high-speed link.
But following with her usual style President Cristina took advantage of the announcement in Government House to chide skeptics who have complained that the high speed train funds could be used "to solve other issues". The Argentine president compared the criticisms to those made in the '90s about the construction of the Puerto Madero docklands area (in the Buenos Aires port), when critics at the time called the project "excessive and unrealizable". Mrs. Kirchner insisted that "today Puerto Madero is a wonderful project that has positioned Buenos Aires" and that newspapers in the '90s that had said that the project was excessive now state that it is a success. "I don't want to keep on listening to all the old arguments, such as that 'there are more important things to do,'" going on to add that "luckily there are people that can see further than the end of their noses." At the event offers were received from the three consortia that are bidding for the 600 million US dollars contract: France's Alstom, Spanish group Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles (CAF) and Maire from Italy. The new train is expected to link Buenos Aires and the seaside resort of Mar del Plata on the Atlantic coast in slightly over two hours traveling at speeds of up to 250 kilometers an hour, with tentative stops at two key catchments' towns along the route. The tender for the Mar del Plata line is the second high speed train project in Argentina that has got off the ground in recent weeks, the Buenos Aires-Rosario-Córdoba line having recently been awarded to France's Alstom, including partial financing by the French bank Societé Génerale.
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