PRESIDENT Néstor Kirchner has unveiled a National Railway Investment Plan that would see 300m pesos spent on Argentina’s railways this year, under a programme continuing until 2007 that is expected to attract some US$500m of private investment.

Launching the plan in Buenos Aires, Kirchner said that major spending was required to make up for the lack of infrastructure investment over the last 10 years. ’This decision to move forward is utterly irreversible, we are convinced that Argentina should once again have a railway system at the service of Argentinians’, he said.

According to the Ministry of Federal Planning, Public Investment & Services, 76m pesos is to be invested this year to restore passenger services between Argentina’s principal cities. New projects due to start this year include track renewal on the former Mitre route between Rosario and Córdoba, where 15m pesos is to be spent. A further 10m pesos has been allocated to replacing rail and sleepers between Rosario and Tucum