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Old January 6th, 2008, 02:09 AM   #1
islandtransit
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SOUTH AMERICA | Inter Country Railways

Does anyone think rail between different South American countries is a good idea? Something like Buenos Aires-Santiago/Valpariso via Mendoza, or Buenos Aires/Montevideo-Asuncion. It can reach Bolivia and Brazil too.
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Old January 8th, 2008, 09:35 AM   #2
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The Andes are a major impediment to anything crossing them. Rail doesn't like steep grades and the Andes are nothing but. Their was a rail line between Mendoza and Valparaiso but it was abandoned in 1984. With tunneling costs decreasing it will probably be rebuilt with a really long tunnel at some point. I imagine passengers won't be thrilled with travelling in such a long tunnel in a such a tectonically active area.

What South America lacks is a trans-Amazonian railway connecting Brasil/Bolivia/Peru with Colombia/Venezuela.
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Old January 8th, 2008, 07:26 PM   #3
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The Andes are a major impediment to anything crossing them. Rail doesn't like steep grades and the Andes are nothing but. Their was a rail line between Mendoza and Valparaiso but it was abandoned in 1984. With tunneling costs decreasing it will probably be rebuilt with a really long tunnel at some point.
In late 2006 both governments jointly launched a bidding process for the reconstruction of that railway line (connecting Mendoza, in Argentina, with Los Andes, in Chile). The intention was to run freight trains powered by diesel engines on narrow gauge tracks (1,000 mm), which required an investment of just about 350 million dollars. While this only offered limited capacity, especially due to steep grades, it also seemed difficult to find bidders and the respective calls for bids had to be postponed several times.

In the meantime a new project was presented by an Argentine corporation specialized in construction and operation of infrastructure (mainly airports). The new project consists of running electric freight and shuttle trains (for cars, buses and trucks) through a low altitude tunnel of 20 to 30 Km. The investment (which is supposed to be entirely private) would be about ten times higher and construction is expected to take about ten years. The company and its regional partners seem to be very determined, but their proyect is still in the early design stages and no decission has been made by the authorities yet.
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Old January 9th, 2008, 06:39 AM   #4
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I'm aware that the Andes are an obstacle. However, if that track is restored from Mendoza through the mountains, then what would you say to a cross-border passenger rail service? And yes, a line across the amazons to Venezuela would be great. Colombia might be out of reach though b/c of more mountains
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Old January 9th, 2008, 06:25 PM   #5
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I'm aware that the Andes are an obstacle. However, if that track is restored from Mendoza through the mountains, then what would you say to a cross-border passenger rail service?
There might be potential, but it's not just a matter of putting some passenger trains on the tracks. There has to be huge investment in infrastructure first because right now it's just impossible to offer a decent and competitive rail service for passengers even where railway lines already exist. A project for 160 Km/h diesel trains between Buenos Aires and Mendoza is in the works. Assuming this and the tunnel will be built and connected with each other, a passenger train between both capitals would seem to be feasible.
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Old January 10th, 2008, 01:19 AM   #6
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Then forget about that line for now. How about Buenos Aires to Asuncion(Paraguay)? I know they'd have to do a reverse move as soon as the train crosses the bridge into Paraguay, but so what?
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Old January 10th, 2008, 10:17 AM   #7
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The only realistic connections would involve Paraguay, or Uruguay/Brazil.

Nothing else would ever work, besides very small, local crossing at borders.
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Old January 10th, 2008, 06:47 PM   #8
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Then forget about that line for now. How about Buenos Aires to Asuncion(Paraguay)? I know they'd have to do a reverse move as soon as the train crosses the bridge into Paraguay, but so what?
There are two rail lines to Corrientes and Resistencia (only separated by a river), using 1.435 mm and 1.000 mm tracks, respectively. You'd only have to build a new line from there to Asunción, about 300 Km, which wouldn't be too difficult. Of course you'd also have to upgrade existing tracks, being that they don't allow speeds beyond 30 or 40 Km/h right now.
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Old January 10th, 2008, 11:48 PM   #9
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There's also a railway line between Posadas and Asunción, but it hasn't seen any train operations for years.
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Old January 11th, 2008, 06:56 PM   #10
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Yeah, the bridge connects Posadas with the track to Asuncion. I think that with track upgrades, passenger rail would get great ridership. Hell, the bus industry is booming down there.
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Old January 14th, 2008, 06:37 AM   #11
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Yeah, the bridge connects Posadas with the track to Asuncion. I think that with track upgrades, passenger rail would get great ridership. Hell, the bus industry is booming down there.
Yes, I agree. If the infrastructure was in good conditions there would be huge potential for a passenger train connecting Asunción and Buenos Aires.
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Old January 14th, 2008, 07:44 AM   #12
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South America Does Have Transcontinental Rail

From Arica, Chile to Rio de Janeiro and Santos, Brazil. There is a rack section through the Andes between Arica and La Paz, Bolivia. And since the line across Bolivia has a gap between Aiquile (east of Cochabamba) and Santa Cruz, it is necessary to go south (from La Paz) down to Salta, Argentina, and from there, north (by northeast) to Santa Cruz, and from there, across eastern Bolivia and Brazil to the Atlantic coast of Brazil. The lines are meter gauge througout.

It's a shame that there is no continuous north-south line, from Colombia down to Argentina or Chile. The lines in Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru are short and disconnected, and various gauges - standard, meter, and 914 mm. Bolivia is all meter gauge, Chile is mostly 1676 mm gauge, Argentina is a mix of 1676 mm and meter gauge, with a handful of standard guage lines in the northeastern part of the country.

Medellin, Colombia, to Quito, Ecuador, to La Oroya, Peru, to Lake Titicaca to La Paz, Bolivia, would be a nice (pipe-dream) line.

Last edited by Frank IBC; January 14th, 2008 at 07:51 AM. Reason: Original post had incorrect width for Chile/Argentina broad gauge.
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Old January 14th, 2008, 02:52 PM   #13
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I said INTERNATIONAL, not transcontinental. I'm talking about having a service similar to what the buses do. You get on the train in one country and you can get off in another. Obviously, they'd run only between major cities.
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Old February 11th, 2011, 09:39 PM   #14
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a high speed rail train connecting the CONO SUR region is more ideal because their all in close proximity (parallel).
from: Santiago, Chile (Pacific coast)- to Buenos Aires, Argentina (Parana river)- Montevideo (Atlantic coast)- and finally up to Porto Alegre or Cuitaba Brazil

These capital cities are all ideal because their economically stable and growing middle class, and good governments.

CONO SUR EXPRESS
(Santiago, Buenos Aires, Montevideo)
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Old February 12th, 2011, 02:19 PM   #15
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Porto Alegre and Curitiba are not capitals of Brazil!

In any case, I don't actually see the need for multi-billion investments for high-speed rail over the Andes. Freight rail - ok, might be interesting, but passenger rail?

Distances are way too far to justify the investment. The few road links don't see that much traffic. So I don't think that will happen anytime soon.
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Old February 12th, 2011, 03:54 PM   #16
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in Argentina there are 2 railways crossing to Bolivia, 2 to Uruguay, 1 to Paraguay, 1 to Brazil, 2 to Chile (one under reconstruccion), and a 3rd one under eternal construction, the "Transpatagonico".

there are 8 international railways today (some of them partially closed) and another U/C.
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Old February 14th, 2011, 01:59 AM   #17
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chile is conected with bolivia by 2 lines. arica-la paz and antofagasta-cochabamba and is conected to peru with 1 line. arica-tacna. plus antofagasta is conected to salta in argentina. for many years the onliest contact of bolivian capital la paz with the rest of the world was the arica-la paz line.
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Old February 14th, 2011, 01:56 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maipo Valley View Post
chile is conected with bolivia by 2 lines. arica-la paz and antofagasta-cochabamba and is conected to peru with 1 line. arica-tacna. plus antofagasta is conected to salta in argentina. for many years the onliest contact of bolivian capital la paz with the rest of the world was the arica-la paz line.
Are there passenger services on these lines?
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Old February 15th, 2011, 04:39 AM   #19
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Quote:
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Are there passenger services on these lines?
actually no.

but it will restart a passenger service between arica and la paz soon.

in 2000's the passenger service in that line stopped working.
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Old February 15th, 2011, 05:04 AM   #20
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connect with the south of SA???.... i prefer connections with Colombia, Trinidad and Panama
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