Baotou Steel Union Co Ltd of China has suppled 7 630 tonnes of 50 kg/m rail for track renewals on the AFE network (Photo: Marcelo Benoit).

URUGUAY: State railway AFE has announced that tender documentation is to be made available from January 22 for a PPP contract to undertake track renewals on the 141 km between Algorta and Fray Bentos. Tendering and execution of the work, which will enable freight trains to operate at up to 50 km/h with a maximum axleload of 20 tonnes, is expected to take 30 months to complete.

According to AFE President Wilfredo Rodríguez, track renewals on the 422 km Pintado — Rivera route are now 50% complete, costing a total of US$75m of which US$50m is being provided by the Mercosur trading block of South American countries. Mercosur structural convergence funding is also being made available to undertake renewals on the 327 km between Piedra Sola and Salto at a cost of US$127m.