ARGENTINA: Alstom and Siemens have joined forces to bid for the project to build a high speed line between Buenos Aires and Mar del Plata, where expressions of interest to prequalify for a turnkey contract were opened in the presence of President Cristina Fernández of Argentina on February 8. As with the new line to Rosario and Córdoba (RG 2.08 p67), the successful bidder will be required to provide at least 50% of the estimated US$1bn cost of the project.

Three consortia have submitted expressions of interest. Alstom and Siemens are bidding with Iecsa, Isolux Corsán, Cometrans and Electroingeniería SA. A second group led by CAF also comprises Benito Roggio, Comsa and Cartellone. Ansaldo Trasporti Sistemi Ferroviari and Ansaldobreda are bidding with Constructora Andrade Gutierrez, Chediack, Esuco, Maire Engineering and Enyse.

A preferred bidder was expected to be announced within three months. Due to open in 2010, the 400 km route between Buenos Aires and Mar del Plata will serve intermediate stations at Dolores and Chascomús. Trains will operate at an maximum speed of between 250 km/h and 320 km/h to enable an end-to-end journey time of less than 2 h 15 min.

  • As part of the 227m pesos project to build a 70 km double-track freight bypass around the city of Rosario, improving access to port facilities and eliminating level crossings, the federal government has awarded Herso a contract worth 99·8m pesos for the Cabín 8 - San Lorenzo section. Herso is also to build the San Lorenzo - Cerana portion under a second contract worth 87·8m pesos.