CHILEAN state railway EFE has called tenders for a contract to upgrade and maintain over eight years the 567·4route-km of its Southern Zone between San Rosendo and Puerto Montt. Bids are due by June 8, and EFE hopes to sign a contract on September 3 so that work can begin in November 2005.

Under a separate contract worth 9·6bn pesos, OHL began work last month on a programme of track renewals between Victoria and Puerto Montt, part of a US$40m investment package for the route that also includes the acquisition of DMUs from Renfe of Spain. The first refurbished units are due to arrive in Chile in September.

With bids due in by January 31, EFE expected work to begin last month on a contract worth up to 1bn pesos to refurbish 12 stations between Freire and Puerto Varas. Tenders are to be called for the construction of a new station at La Paloma, expected to take six months to complete, which will be EFE’s new terminus in Puerto Montt. The existing alignment through the town centre has six level crossings ’which would delay traffic and increase journey times’ according to EFE General Manager Eduardo Castillo.

  • EFE has awarded Consorcio Industrial y Comercial Bío Bío Itisa Ferrostal Ltda a US$15m contract to supply 200000 concrete sleepers for the upgrading of the Santiago - Chill