Colombia’s National Infrastructure Agency (ANI) awarded the maintenance and modernisation contract for La Dorada – Chiriguaná railway line to the consortium of San Felipe Férreo comprising Comsa and local company Castro Tcherassi.
San Felipe Férreo’s offer has been selected among the proposals of eight bidders for a USD 17.6 million contract and is expected to generate more than 1,500 direct and indirect jobs and could also benefit nearly 400,000 people living along the 25 municipalities through which the train operates.
“The rail reactivation will complement road freight transport, which plays an essential role in the last mile of our intermodal strategy. This award guarantees the operation of the corridor and logistical efficiency that implies a 26% reduction in transportation costs for businessmen,” Jonathan Bernal, vice president of Structuring at ANI said.
Among the most representative works to take place on the corridor include repairs and maintenance of the stations and warehouses, the rehabilitation and repair of existing rail switches, the installation of signalling systems and the development of socio-environmental programmes and activities.
The project will provide continuity to the rail freight operation, a strategic area in which more than 89,000 tonnes were mobilised in 2022. Furthermore, the works will lead to greater logistical efficiency, enabling a 26% reduction in transport costs.
The La Dorada – Chiriguaná railway is 522 km long and is the strategic railway corridor that connects the interior of the country with the Caribbean zone, through the departments of Caldas, Antioquia, Santander, Norte de Santander and Caesar.
The freight volume on the corridor increased by 12% in the first quarter of 2023, compared to similar period of 2022 and secured the transport of 8 million tonnes, up from 7.1 million tonnes in the previous year.
This line is part of the 800 km corridor between La Dorada, situated between Medellín (east of La Dorada) and Bogota (in west), towards Santa Marta city on the Caribbean Sea. The corridor is split into two main sections one from La Dorada / Cabañas to Chiriguaná creating the Central rail network and from Chiriguaná to Santa Marta, forming the Atlantic rail network.