br Ferrovia Norte-Sul

BRAZIL: President Jair Bolsonaro and Minister of Infrastructure Tarcísio Gomes de Freitas officiated at the opening of a 172 km section of the 1 600 mm gauge Ferrovia Norte-Sul between São Simão in Goiás state and Estrela D’Oeste in São Paulo state.

Held in the recently completed freight terminal at São Simão, the event on March 4 foreshadowed the start of commercial services between the state of Goiás and the port of Santos in Sao Paulo state. Traffic will mainly comprise soya and other agricultural products, with traffic expected to reach 5∙5 million tonnes a year.

Trains on this section will be run by Rumo under its 30-year Malha Central concession signed in July 2019 to operate and maintain the 1 537 km southern part of the railway linking Porto Nacional in Tocantins to Estrela d’Oeste. Clauses in the agreement give Rumo rights to operate services to and from the port of Itaqui in São Luis in Maranhão state and to and from Santos in São Paulo state.

Bolsonaro said that Rumo is forecast to complete work later this year on the final section of Ferrovia Norte-Sul, ‘a fantastic thing’, providing a through route all the way from Maranhão to Santos.

Gomes de Freitas highlighted the importance of Brazil’s investment in railways, whose modal share is expected to rise from 15% to 35% over the coming years, at the same time boosting the economy. ‘There is no way not to believe in Brazil, a country that is literally starting out on the tracks’, said the minister.

Rumo has invested R$711m in the São Simão – Estrela D’Oeste section, including construction of a 530 m bridge over the River Paranaíba and three other major bridges. The São Simão terminal was built and will be managed by Rumo and Caramuru Alimentos.