ARGENTINA: An initial batch of 41 coaches built by CSR of China for the San Martín commuter route was unloaded in Buenos Aires on February 28. The shipment also included a further two CSR Qishuyan diesel locomotives for the San Martín route.

Minister of the Interior & Transport Florencio Randazzo said that deliveries of the 160 coaches and 24 locomotives that CSR is supplying would be completed within ‘90 or 120 days’. The new San Martín fleet represented a US$133m investment by the federal government, he said, of which 15% had been paid in advance. The balance was to be provided over a 10-year term at an interest rate of 7⋅5%, including a two-year grace period.

Randazzo added that the 25 nine-car EMUs that CSR Sifang is building for the Sarmiento route and the 30 six-car EMUs for the Mitre network were expected to arrive within 13 months. ‘We are going to replace all the old trainsets and double capacity’, he said. In the meantime, deployment of the new high-platform San Martín cars on Mitre route was under consideration to replace the ‘worn out’ Mitre fleet.

The federal government has also acquired passenger rolling stock for the medium-distance routes from Buenos Aires to Rosario and Mar del Plata. ‘We are now tendering the track renewal works’, said Randazzo.