ARGENTINA: By means of a resolution published on September 9, the federal government has added two further electrification projects to its investment programme for the Buenos Aires suburban network. On the Sarmiento route, 830 V DC third rail is to be extended from Moreno to Luján and from Merlo to Marcos Paz, while on the Mitre network a new circular service from Retiro is to be created by electrifying 14 km from José León Suárez through Bancalari to Victoria.

On the same day, operating concessionaire TBA put into service on the Sarmiento route the first nine-car Puma V.3 trainset to be rolled out by Emfer under a government programme costing 318m pesos to rebuild 125 Toshiba EMU cars. The Puma features chopper control and static converters to feed auxiliary systems including air-conditioning.

The rebuilt train restored the Sarmiento fleet to its full complement of 24 units, after eight cars had been burnt out during a series of violent incidents which broke out at Castelar and Merlo on September 4. With the start of work on the programme to place the route between Caballito and Moreno underground (RG 3.08 p128) delayed as the preferred bidders attempt to raise finance, TBA points out that it is operating the maximum service frequency within the 'technical constraint’ imposed by the number of level crossings on the Sarmiento line.

  • Bids for a contract worth up to 4·34bn pesos to complete the 25 kV 50 Hz electrification of the Roca network, including resignalling, level crossing elimination and the supply of 200 air-conditioned EMU cars (RG 4.08 p206), were opened in the presence of President Cristina Fernández in La Plata on September 17.