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Montevideo, February 22nd 2024 - 10:14 UTC

 

 

Chile launches new fast train service

Saturday, January 20th 2024 - 11:08 UTC
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The Chinese-built train may run on either fuel or electricity The Chinese-built train may run on either fuel or electricity

Chilean authorities Friday inaugurated the South American country's first high-speed train service. The convoy, which has four cars and can accommodate 236 passengers, links connects Santiago with Curicó in two hours and three minutes at a maximum speed of 160 km/h. Curicó is a rich agricultural production area known for its wine cellars.

The new service cuts down travel time by 20 minutes, it was explained. The cost of a ticket between Santiago and Curicó on this new train varies between US$ 12 and US$ 24. The new service is expected to reach the city of Chillán, some 400 km south of Santiago later this year.

“We are at a historic moment, not only for our country but for the region, for our South America that receives for the first time a train of these conditions for a commercial service,” said Chilean Transport Minister Juan Carlos Muñoz.

The Chinese-built trains manufactured by CRRC Sifang have automatic electric and diesel power supply systems (dual trains or BMU). In other words, they can run on fuel in the absence of electricity.

Until the early 1970s, Chile had an extensive rail network which was dismantled under dictator Augusto Pinochet Ugarte (1973-1990) to prioritize road transport.

This “is a great milestone for our project, our desire and that of all Chileans to recover and improve our railway network, those trains for Chile that we want to be able to use on a recurring basis,” Muñoz said.

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