CHILE: The fleet of Chinese-built electric multiple-units to operate Fesur’s Biotrén and Corto Laja regional services was officially launched into revenue service by President Sebastián Piñera on October 26.


The event in Concepción was also attended by Minister of Transport & Communications Gloria Hutt, Governor of Bio Bío region Patricio Kuhn and President of state railway EFE Pedro Errazuriz.


The nine three-car EMUs for Biotrén and three for Corto Laja have been supplied by CRRC Qingdao Sifang as part of the government’s Chile on Rails investment strategy. The US$87m package also includes three two-car DMUs to operate on the 65 km Victoria – Temuco line in Araucania. Deliveries were completed earlier this year, allowing the start of test running and driver training.


According to EFE, the introduction of the ‘more comfortable, safer and modern’ trains will increase the quality of service on local services around Concepción. The air-conditioned trains are fitted with wi-fi and CCTV, as well as retractable boarding ramps to ensure universal access.

The longer trains will increase capacity on the Biotrén services by 40% from 560 to 780 passengers per train, while the Laja – Talcahuano service will be increased by 28% from 560 to 717.