Electrification progress and new trains enter service in Argentina

BUENOS AIRES, home to around 14 million people and capital of Argentina, has the most comprehensive commuter rail network in Latin America.

EMD-built GT22CW-2 A920 (constructed London, Ontario, Canada in 1998) in the new Transporte público blue livery, used in recent years. It is seen passing under a gantry of British-made semaphore signals, leaving La Plata on March 20, 2014, one of the last days of operation before the line shut for electrification – which two years later is not complete. DARIO SAIDMAN
EMD-built GT22CW-2 A920 (constructed London, Ontario, Canada in 1998) in the new Transporte público blue livery, used in recent years. It is seen passing under a gantry of British-made semaphore signals, leaving La Plata on March 20, 2014, one of the last days of operation before the line shut for electrification – which two years later is not complete. DARIO SAIDMAN

Over the last five years large numbers of new trains have been ordered from Chinese manufacturer CRCC, backed by cheap finance provided by the Chinese Government. Until 2012 most commuter lines in Buenos Aires used a mix of diesel locos or EMUs, almost all of which dated from the 1960s or even earlier. Since 2014/2015 the train fleets used have been transformed with hundreds of new EMU cars and new DMUs replacing some
loco-hauled trains.

Four hundred and five new EMU vehicles were ordered from CSR (now part of CRCC) and built at the Qingdao Sifang plant in China for use on the extensive third rail-electrified networks from Retiro Mitre and Once stations; electrification of these lines began during the First World War when most railways in Argentina were British owned.

Read more in October’s edition of The RM

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