IDB funds General San Martin metropolitan area railway line US$400m improvements in Argentina
A railway improve project in Argentina has been funded for the section between Retiro Station in downtown Buenos Aires and Pilar Station in the city’s outskirts, cutting travel time and greenhouse gas emissions.
The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) has approved a $400 million loan to support renovation and electrification work of the General San Martin metropolitan area railway between the stations of Retiro, in Buenos Aires City, and Pilar, in the namesake province.
The project will finance restoration and electrification work, including the renovation of railways in the Retiro-Palermo and Paternal-Pilar segments, 25KV catenary electrification, and construction of a transformer substation and auto-transformer points. It will also fund the installation of a new signalling and communications system, purchase of equipment for the connection and maintenance of the catenary system, converting the Playa de Alianza site into a maintenance workshop, and renovating the Pilar station.
This 76.3-km -long railroad was used by 51 million passengers in 2016, making it a key component of the Buenos Aires Metropolitan Area railway system.
The project will cut travel time and boost up reliability, quality, and capacity in the Buenos Aires Metropolitan Area north-west railroad corridor. A modern signalling system will provide more safety and efficiency, while new traction technology for the trains will help mitigate climate change effects, since electric railway systems emit 20 percent to 25 percent less greenhouse gases than those running on diesel fuel.
The total cost of the project is $522 million. This includes $122 million in local counterpart funds that will be provided by Argentina. The IDB’s $400 million loan is for a 25-year term, with a 5.5-year grace period and a LIBOR-based interest rate.