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Old August 25th, 2009, 07:34 PM   #1
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ARGENTINA | Railways

The Argentine railway network comprised 47,000 km of track at the end of the Second World War and was, in its time, one of the most extensive and prosperous in South America. However, with the increase in highway construction and the break-up in 1993 of Ferrocarriles Argentinos (FA), the state railroad corporation, there followed a sharp decline in railway profitability. Since that time several private and provincial railway companies have been created and have resurrected some of the major passenger routes that FA once operated. The railroad network today, with its 34,059 km of track,[1] is now far smaller than it once was.

The railways of Argentina operate over track of the following five rail gauges:

Main line gauges:
Broad gauge: 1,676 mm (5 ft 6 in) – 24,481 km
Standard gauge: 1,435 mm (4 ft 8+1⁄2 in) – 2,765 km
Metre gauge: 1,000 mm (3 ft 3+3⁄8 in) – 11,080 km
Secondary gauges:
Narrow gauge: 750 mm (2 ft 5+1⁄2 in) – 409 km
Minimum gauge: 500 mm (1 ft 7+3⁄4 in) – 8 km



Buenos Aires: San Martin Line (LSM) commuter train (by ALCo) crossing Salguero Street bridge (foreground); behind the construction site, a Toshiba EMU from TBA is going south; and a red train from Ferrovias narrow gauge is departing from Saldías station



Retiro Rail Terminal, downtown Buenos Aires


Commuter network

Buenos Aires, Resistencia and soon to be inaugurated; Metrotranvía of Mendoza in the city Mendoza, are the only cities in Argentina to offer suburban passenger services; most other cities rely on bus transportation. Nationally, in 2006, 434 million passengers were transported by railways.[5]

Buenos Aires City's metropolitan rail system is extensive with 267 stations, 6 main rail lines and one light rail line, covering 899 kilometres (562 miles) and 1800 trains carrying over one million passengers each business day in the city of Buenos Aires, its suburbs in Greater Buenos Aires and several far-reaching satellite towns. Service is provided by private companies and spreads out from five central stations in Buenos Aires: Retiro (the busiest), Constitución, Once de Septiembre, Federico Lacroze – all serving both long-distance and local passenger services – and Buenos Aires Station which despite its name is a secondary rail terminus serving only local commuter services. The Retiro and Constitución train stations are linked by the Line C of the Buenos Aires Metro, Once de Septiembre is served by the Line A of the metro via its "Plaza Miserere" station and will also be served by the new Line H of the metro when construction is completed; and Federico Lacroze is served by B line. The smaller Buenos Aires Station is accessible by some city bus services and it is the only railway terminus in Buenos Aires that has no access to the Buenos Aires Metro.

Most trains leave at regular 8- to 20-minute intervals though for trains travelling a longer distance service may be less frequent. Fares are cheap and tickets can be purchased at ticket windows or through coin-operated machines at stations. Most of the lines are electric, several are diesel-powered, while some of these are currently being converted to electric, many of the lines share traffic with freight services.

Buenos Aires area commuter rail lines were privatised in the 1990s, and passengers have complained for years about poor commuter rail services on lines leading from Constitución station in downtown Buenos Aires to the capital's southern suburbs.[6]

The light rail Tren de la Costa (the coastal train), which serves "tourist" and local commuters, runs from the northern suburbs of Buenos Aires to Tigre along the river for approximately 15 kilometres, the line connects directly to the Linea Mitre at Maipú–Bartolomé Mitre station in the northern suburb of Olivos for direct access to Retiro terminus in the centre of the city. An experimental project of a short run tramway line, Tranvia del Este, has recently been inaugurated in the Puerto Madero district of Buenos Aires. The 2 km prototype line runs between the Córdoba and Independencia avenues, ridership has not been as expected, nevertheless, extensions are being planned. Another tramway line, the PreMetro E2, operates as a feeder at the end of Metro Line E and a Historic Tramway operates on weekends and holidays in the Caballito neighbourhood of the capital.

Diagrammatic map of the Buenos Aires Commuter Rail Network


Rail lines / Operators

* Belgrano Norte Line / Ferrovías
* Belgrano Sur Line / UGOFE
* Mitre Line / Trenes de Buenos Aires
* Roca Line / UGOFE
* San Martin Line / UGOFE
* Sarmiento Line / Trenes de Buenos Aires
* Urquiza Line / Metrovías
* Tren de la Costa / Tren de la Costa S.A.

FIAT-CAF railcar is part of used material recently acquired from Spain at Retiro Terminal in Buenos Aires


Ticketing

Unlike the Buenos Aires Metro, which uses electronic fare cards, the Buenos Aires public transit system still uses antiquated ticketing systems. All tickets are bought at ticket booths at railway stations and every once in a while, on board certain trains. There is also no single integrated fare payment system for users of bus, metro, and railway services. The designation of multiple operating entities in the Buenos Aires Metropolitan Area adds technical complexities to the Prepaid Fare System and represents a unique concept for public transport, nonetheless, the implementation of such a system is being studied. However, it has been argued that automatic ticket control systems may have certain disadvantages in that the presence of ticket sales and control personnel in the station adds more security to the passengers and to the property of the railroad.

Electrification plans

Although the first electric railway between Retiro and Tigre was inaugurated in 1916, major electrification projects were not adopted. Long distances, flat topography, and economic conditions did not merit major capital investments in this area, although some suburban networks in Buenos Aires Metropolitan Area were electrified.

After several decades of the Buenos Aires rail-service being under-funded, there is presently an ongoing modernization plan so as to provide much needed improvement in services, and the trend is towards electrification of several lines. The first line to receive this improvement is the cramped Roca line network on the southern part of the city, where work is already in progress, and several new routes have recently been approved for electrification covering the rest of the line.[7] Work is also under way on the San Martín line,[8] and there are plans to electrify the Belgrano Norte line.

As of 2008[update], approximately 42.7%, 258KM (160 miles) from a total rail network of 604 km (375 miles) of the Buenos Aires and Greater Buenos Aires area (excluding outer-suburban satellite cities of Capilla del Señor, Lobos, Mercedes, Luján, Zárate and Cañuelas), but including the city of La Plata, is electrified (both by locomotives and multiple units). Once the oft-mentioned Roca line (143 km) and San Martín Line (55 km) electrification projects are completed by the year 2014, 75.5% of the network would be electrified, if the Belgrano Norte is added to the equation (which is being planned); the total electrified network would work out to approximately 84.9%.

Buenos Aires Electric Railways Network 2008


Buenos Aires Underground

The Buenos Aires Underground (Subterráneo de Buenos Aires-locally known as Subte) is a metro system that serves the city of Buenos Aires, the network was inaugurated in 1913 by the Anglo-Argentine Tramways Company, being the first of its kind in Latin America and in the entire Southern Hemisphere.

In the city of Córdoba, Argentina, there is a project to build an underground system; the "Córdoba Metro", which would make it the second metro system in Argentina.

Subterráneo de Buenos Aires, the Buenos Aires Underground


Intercity passenger services

Argentina scrapped many of its uneconomical long-distance passenger train services during the early 1990s and privatised, by concession contract, several main routes to Trenes de Buenos Aires, Ferrocentral, Ferrobaires, and Trenes Especiales Argentinos. The new services are not what passengers were used to and today, with the exception of the Buenos Aires, Rosario, Córdoba and Tucumán corridors, provide erratic and poor-quality services. Nonetheless, a strong demand in farm commodities has helped the Argentine economy bounce back over recent years. The government intends to re-establish long-distance passenger services between vital centres in the agricultural and industrial regions with a project to build a high-speed railway that would join the three largest cities in Argentina; Buenos Aires, Rosario and Córdoba.[10] This is expected to act as an essential component in the revival of railways in Argentina.[11] Another project in the planning stages is the refurbishing and upgrading of the Buenos Aires-Mendoza corridor to operate trains at speeds of up to 160 kilometres per hour and possibly another high-speed line to the coastal city of Mar del Plata.

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Old August 25th, 2009, 07:39 PM   #2
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Few pictures:





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Old August 25th, 2009, 07:39 PM   #3
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Old August 25th, 2009, 07:40 PM   #4
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Old August 25th, 2009, 07:41 PM   #5
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Last edited by New York Morning; August 25th, 2009 at 07:57 PM.
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Old August 25th, 2009, 07:57 PM   #6
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Old August 25th, 2009, 08:03 PM   #7
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Great thread, amazing photos!!
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Old August 25th, 2009, 08:20 PM   #8
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Great start for this thread. Looking forward to seeing more pictures.

Can we get more information about the intercity and long distance services? Which routes are still operated?
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Old August 25th, 2009, 08:55 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by juanico View Post
Great start for this thread. Looking forward to seeing more pictures.

Can we get more information about the intercity and long distance services? Which routes are still operated?
Sure
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Old August 25th, 2009, 08:57 PM   #10
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Ferrobaires

Ferrobaires S.A. is the commercial name of a public railway company which operates extensive long-distance passenger trains throughout Buenos Aires Province in Argentina. Its official corporate name is Unidad Ejecutora del Plan Ferroviario Provincial (UEPFP), or Executing Unit of the Provincial Railway Plan in English. The company is primarily owned and funded by the Buenos Aires provincial government. The name "Ferrobaires" is a combination of the Spanish words for "Rail Buenos Aires."

From its bases in the city of Buenos Aires, Ferrobaires rail lines fan out south and west across the surrounding province which bears the same name. The company transports approximately 1.5 million passengers annually and operates in and out of all three major train stations in Buenos Aires city: Retiro, Constitución, and Once.

All of the routes currently managed by Ferrobaires were previously run by Ferrocarriles Argentinos, the country's now-defunct national passenger railroad corporation. After the privatisation of Ferrocarriles Argentinos starting in 1992, many train services across Argentina were indefinitely discontinued. However, Ferrobaires has successfully resurrected many of these services within Buenos Aires Province since 2001.

In early 2006, the national Ministry of Planning considered taking control of the company to arrange its reprivatization, but the provincial government of Felipe Solá refused this offering, argumenting that the company was working very efficiently and with low prices under provincial state control.

An older passenger train bearing the livery of UEPFP, the corporate name of Ferrobaires


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Old August 25th, 2009, 08:59 PM   #11
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Ferrocentral

Ferrocentral is a private railway company in Argentina, its name being a combination of the Spanish words for "Central Rail." It operates long-distance passenger trains from its base at Retiro Station in Buenos Aires to several locations in northern Argentina. All of the train routes managed by Ferrocentral were previously operated by Ferrocarriles Argentinos, the country's now-defunct national passenger railroad corporation. After the privatisation of Ferrocarriles Argentinos starting in 1991, many train services across Argentina were indefinitely discontinued. Since the year 2005, however, Ferrocentral was formed and has successfully resurrected some passenger lines.

A map of Ferrocentral's current passenger train operations


As of 2006, Ferrocentral operates the following passenger train services:

* Buenos Aires to Rosario (6 hours, twice weekly in each direction)
* Buenos Aires to Córdoba, via Rosario and Villa María (14 hours, twice weekly each way)
* Buenos Aires to Tucumán and points between (24-25 hours, once weekly each way)
* Villa María to Córdoba and points between (3 hours, 2-3 times weekly in each direction)

Most trains operate in the late night and early morning hours as the rail lines are used for transporting cargo during the daytime.

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Old August 25th, 2009, 09:01 PM   #12
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Trenes Especiales Argentinos (TEA)

Trenes Especiales Argentinos (TEA) (in English: Special Argentine Trains) is a private railway company in Argentina set up during railway privatisation from 1991.

From its base at Federico Lacroze Station in Buenos Aires, TEA operates long-distance passenger rail services into northern Argentina to the city of Posadas in Misiones Province on the border with Paraguay. Trains stop at multiple locations along the way including, but not limited to, Zárate in Buenos Aires Province, Basavilbaso and Villaguay in Entre Ríos Province, Monte Caseros and Santo Tomé in Corrientes Province, and numerous points between. The total journey lasts approximately twenty-six hours. Trains depart twice weekly in each direction.

A basic map of the train service provided by Trenes Especiales Argentinos (not all stations shown)


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Old August 25th, 2009, 09:02 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by juanico View Post
Great start for this thread. Looking forward to seeing more pictures.

Can we get more information about the intercity and long distance services? Which routes are still operated?
Ferrocentral runs long distance services between Buenos Aires and Córdoba (twice a week) and Buenos Aires and Tucumán (also twice a week).

Here is the link

http://www.ferrocentralsa.com.ar/redes_ferroviarias.htm
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Old August 25th, 2009, 09:08 PM   #14
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Buenos Aires–Rosario–Córdoba high-speed railway

The Buenos Aires–Rosario–Córdoba high-speed railway (Tren de Alta Velocidad –TAVe) is a project designed to link the Argentine cities of Buenos Aires, Rosario and Córdoba through a 710 kilometers (441 mi) high-speed rail network. The plan, announced by President Néstor Kirchner during a press conference at the Casa Rosada on 26 April 2006, will be the first in Argentina and the Americas operating at up to 320 km/h (200 mph). The entire project is currently "on hold" due to the financial crisis.

The proposed Buenos Aires-Rosario-Córdoba high-speed railway route. Stations are speculative.


Overview of system

Buenos Aires and its metropolitan area has a population of more than 13 million, almost one third of the national total. It is the economic and political center of Argentina, and its main international entry point.

Rosario, located about 286 km (178 mi) north-northwest of the capital, is the third-largest city and a major port, with a metropolitan population of 1.3 million. It is part of the agricultural and industrial core of the littoral region.

Córdoba, with a population around 1.4 million, is located about 710 km (441 mi) from Buenos Aires, near the geographical center of Argentina. It is the second most populated metropolitan area, and a cultural, touristic, and industrial center.

Altogether, the three cities include 15 million inhabitants, or more than a third of the country's overall population of 40 million. Rosario and Cordoba are vital centers in the farm sector, which has grown rapidly in recent years thanks to high commodity prices.

Currently, the main form of transportation between these three cities is by road, through National Route 9 (4 lane Highway from Buenos Aires to Rosario and 2 lane route from Rosario to Cordoba -Rosario to Cordoba highway is expected to be finished by 2009-), followed far behind by air travel.

It is expected that the high speed rail would act as an essential component in the revival of railways in Argentina, which will have a major impact on the economic development of the region.

Features

A high-speed electric train operating at up to 320 km/h (200 mph) with overhead catenary power lines on a standard gauge track of 1,435 mm (4 ft 8+1⁄2 in), it will run mainly on single-track, but with 55 km (34 mi) of double-track between Buenos Aires and Rosario to enable the nine trains/day on this section to pass one another at high speed and then to Córdoba on a new single-track alignment. Alstom is to provide eight, 509 passenger double-deck TGVs equipped with ETCS Level 2 signalling, the new line should provide a Buenos Aires - Rosario journey time of 85 min, (for comparison, an intercity passenger bus takes about four hours) with Córdoba reached 90 min later.

Stations

The new train will link the cities along the central corridor through the agricultural heartland of Argentina. According to the current plan, there will be 20 train services daily, carrying about 7,500 passengers. Several intermediate stops are planned between the main ones, most likely in the cities of Pilar, Campana, San Pedro, San Nicolás de los Arroyos, Cañada de Gómez, Marcos Juárez, Bell Ville and Villa María.

Bids, costs and financing

The total cost of the Buenos Aires–Rosario–Córdoba line was calculated at 4 billion dollars

Four European firms presented themselves as bidders: Alstom (French), Siemens (German), CAF (Spanish) and Impregilo (Italian). Pre-contractual conditions stated that the national state will pay for the whole sum, but the firm in charge of the construction will finance 50%. When technical and financial bids were due in March 2007 only the Veloxia grouping of Alstom, Isolux Corsan, Iecsa and Emepa came forward, and the consortium was selected as preferred bidder on 20 June 2007.

Veloxia was formally selected on 16 January 2008, with a contract to be signed 'in the next few months'.

Alstom will supply eight double-deck TGV trains called 'Cobra'. IECSA will undertake civil engineering, Isolux Corsan and EMEPA will construct the track.

The secretary of transport of the nation, Ricardo Jaime, announced on 27 March 2008, that the minister of economy of the nation - Martín Lousteau- and the partnership led by the French company Alston approved a resolution for the financing of the construction of the Buenos Aires-Rosario-Cordoba High Speed Train (TAVe). The final binding of agreement on the project is to be signed in 10 days.

The external financing will be done by the French bank Natixis who will finance 100 % of the project with an absolutely advisable rate of interest for Argentina. The financing scheme anticipates to take care of the investment of approximately 12,500 million Argentine pesos (ARS), (2,500 million euros - 4,000 million dollars), amount that will be financed with a long term credit of 30 years that will be guaranteed with the delivery of the public titles.

Timeline

* May 8, 2006: Licitation call (offerers qualification): Impregilo, Siemens, Alstom and CAF.
* July 25, 2006: Companies qualification act: Siemens, Alstom and CAF.
* December 20]], 2006: Technical offers. Delayed two times until March 27, 2007: Only Alstom.
* January 30, 2007: Economic offers. Delayed two times until April 30, 2007.
* January 16, 2008: Argentina chooses Alstom-led consortium in partnership with Spanish and Argentine companies to build the first very high speed line in the Americas.
* March 27, 2008: Approval of a resolution for External financing.
* April 29, 2008: President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner formally signed a turnkey contract with the Veloxia consortium for the construction of a 320 km/h line between Buenos Aires, Rosario and Córdoba.
* February 7, 2009: Alstom CEO announces entire project "on stand-by" due to the current financial crisis. Expresses optimism project will be completed in the future.

The Mar del Plata connection

The latest news about TAVe is the launching of the licitation for a new line to the seaside beach resort city and major fishing port of Mar del Plata, 400 km (250 mi) south of Buenos Aires city, though in this case, from Constitución railway station, in the central southeast part of the city.

According to the plan, the new train will develop an average speed of 250 km/h (160 mph) and a maximum of 320 km/h (200 mph). It would only have stations in Dolores and Chascomús and will arrive at Mar del Plata in less than two hours. Today, the service presents serious deficiencies and delays and takes over seven hours in arriving at its final destination, which contrasts greatly to the service provided in the '50s by "El Marplatense" with speeds of up to 90 + mph (150 km/h) making the run in 3 hrs 45 min in stainless steel Budd-built formations which were "very high speed" in those days.

Criticisms

The project has been heavily criticised by Poder Ciudadano, the Argentine dependency of the world wide anti-corruption NGO Transparency International, for being disproportionately expensive relative to the number of people who will benefit from it. Poder Ciudadano also expressed its disapproval at the Argentine government's diversion of funds away from the already under-funded Buenos Aires metropolitan rail-service, which is used every day by millions of citizens.

Argentina high speed train.


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Old August 25th, 2009, 09:20 PM   #15
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Some more pics:





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Old August 25th, 2009, 09:29 PM   #16
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Old August 25th, 2009, 09:29 PM   #17
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Old August 25th, 2009, 09:32 PM   #18
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Old August 25th, 2009, 09:36 PM   #19
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Old August 25th, 2009, 09:37 PM   #20
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