The Belgrano Cargas train, which links the provinces of the Noroeste Argentino (NOA) with the ports of the Gran Rosario, already has its first 500 kilometers of track completed, after a year and a half of work. The train reduced its travel times by 10 days from Salta and Rosario and transports twice as many tons as in 2015.
The 1,180-kilometer stretch from Joaquín V. González, in Salta, and Timbúes, in the Gran Rosario, currently is completed in 8 days, while in 2015 it took 18 to transport the freight. In addition, the tons transported per year in that section went from 411,324 (in 2015) to 883,176 (in 2018). With the totally renewed rail tracks and improvements in port accesses planned for 2020, it is expected that the travel days will be reduced to 2 and the tons transported will be 1,600,000.
“These first 500 kilometers are the proof of the recovery we are making of our freight trains, so that the products of the provinces reach the port, and from there to the world, with less transport costs and in less time. The railways bring growth opportunities to the regions and generates thousands of jobs, and is a fundamental contribution to development that seeks to promote the Belgrano Plan to all the northern towns that grow hand in hand with the train”, Minister of Transport, Guillermo Dietrich, said.
“We’re going to take two days and a little more in a couple of years. And that will be a motor to generate employment throughout the North of the country, “ Argentinian President, Mauricio Macri promised after recognising that it is not easy to build a country on “solid foundations “.
The improvements include the leveling of the tracks, new rails placed on concrete sleepers, with new fixings and new ballast stone. In addition, the construction of 386 kilometers continues, of which 220 have been awarded and 80 kilometers more are in the bidding process, adding to the provinces of Salta and Tucumán, both of them part of Noroeste Argentino.
These first 500 kilometers are part of the integral renovation of the Belgrano Cargas, a rail freight line of 1700 kilometers in length, plus improvements of the accesses to the port of Rosario.
Moreover, Argentina plans a new railway bypass to the city of Santa Fe, the purchase of 156 locomotives and 3500 new rail freight cars. These investments are estimated at USD 2.9 billion.