Argentina Railway Revives With Upsurge In New Investments

One planaims to rebuild 5,000 kilometers (3,100 miles) of freight lines and to extend the tracks in northern Argentina.

Some ambitious plans to renew the Argentinian railway system are bringing back investment in freight and passenger trains. Just two of several programs that should be concluded next decade have already, over the past two years, attracted $45 million from local and foreign private inerests and created at least 8,000 jobs. And more investments are coming down the line: About $200 million has been promised by Russian Transmashholding (TMH), for example, to renovate and upgrade the railway system, including maintenance workshops and locomotive factories.

argentina rail

One plan aims to rebuild 5,000 kilometers (3,100 miles) of freight lines and to extend the tracks in northern Argentina. This is intended to improve logistics throughout the region and should conclude in 2026. The other expands and modernizes the train network in metropolitan Buenos Aires by 2023.

“We know that for these investments to occur there must be a clear and continuous plan that generates confidence,” says Trenes Argentinos Infraestructura (Adif) president Guillermo Fiad. “The best-equipped construction companies will have the best advantages when the time comes to compete in a transparent manner for the different projects to come.”

TMH has already invested $3 million in a facility for Línea Sarmiento. Chinese CRRC is expected to provide 200 electric multiple-unit commuter-rail cars for the Roca Line, after signing a $316.5 million contract with the Argentinian Transport Ministry in January. BTU Argentina is already working on rebuilding a stretch of Línea Sarmiento and plans to start this year on another project of ground preparation in the north.

Argentinian firms Techint Group, Emepa Group and Zonis are also investing in electrification and railroad sleeper-car manufacturing, in line with the government’s transportation plans.