Sao Paulo (Photo: Joel Santana Joelfotos/Pixabay)

BRAZIL: The São Paulo state government has announced more details of its plans to introduce an inter-city passenger service between São Paulo and Campinas.

During a virtual hearing held in Campinas on August 16, the government explained that the project is to be taken forward through a public-private partnership requiring capital expenditure amounting to R$8∙6bn. The formal process is due to launch in December when the Transport Secretariat will publish a tender for a 30-year concession leading to a bidding auction planned for April 2022.

Three levels of service are envisaged. ‘Expresso TIC’ trains able to operate at 140 km/h will run over the 101 km between Barra Funda station in São Paulo and Campinas in 1 h 4 min, making one intermediate stop at Jundiaí; trains would depart at 15 min intervals during peak periods. A fleet of 15 trainsets would be needed, each seating 800 passengers.

‘Intermetropolitano TIM’ services would operate every 20 min over the 65∙8 km between Francisco Morato and Campinas, calling at Valinhos, Vinhedo, Louveira, Jundiaí, Várzea Paulista and Campo Limpo. Offering a 55 min journey time, these trains would connect at Francisco Morato with an extended Line 7 suburban service operated by CPTM. Also known as the Ruby line, Line 7 is the only CPTM route that extends beyond the São Paulo metropolitan region. Line 7 trains from Francisco Morato would operate at 4 min headways, serving 11 intermediate stations and offering an end-to-end journey time of 50 min.

The Intermetropolitano and suburban services would together require a total of 45 trains, 38 of which are expected to be drawn from CPTM’s existing fleet.

Expresso TIC traffic could reach 13 million passengers a year by 2050 while the Intermetropolitano TIM service is expected to carry 136 000 passengers a day representing around 43 million trips a year. Fares would be comparable to those charged by bus operators.

Market surveys are planned for September and October with final modelling of the proposals in November ahead of publication of the tender documents.

Around R$4∙75bn will be needed to upgrade infrastructure along the route to Campinas, including improvements to the signalling, power supply and stations. One of the main objectives will be to segregate the passenger services from freight trains on the route operated by MRS Logística.

The Expresso TIC and Intermetropolitano TIM rolling stock is expected to cost around R$1∙7bn, with a further R$2∙15bn required for modernisation of Line 7.

The proposals would form part of a broader 20-year transport plan being developed by São Paulo state. This could see around R$70bn invested by the private sector, around three-quarters of which would be spent on rail. Apart from further inter-city passenger routes, other ideas being considered include express intermodal freight services that could make use of the upgraded line between São Paulo and Campinas.