ARGENTINA: On March 11 the federal government launched tendering for a programme to complete electrification of the Roca suburban network in Buenos Aires at a cost of US$1·39bn. At present, 55 km of the 198 km Roca system is electrified at 25 kV 50 Hz AC.

Work has been divided into three packages, the first comprising renewal of track, signalling and telecommunications, electrification works and rebuilding 50 stations with higher platforms. A second package combines construction of a new rolling stock maintenance facility at Tolosa and elimination of level crossings on the circular route via Temperley, Bosques, Berazategui and Avellaneda, as well as the line to La Plata. The third component is the supply of 200 EMU cars.

Bids have already been invited for two separate projects to place the 3·1 km Tolosa - La Plata section underground and build a new bus and rail terminus at La Plata.

Expected to take six years to complete, electrification of the San Martín route between Retiro and Pilar is due to be the next project to go out to tender under the government's suburban investment programme. The Belgrano Norte route from Retiro to Villa Rosa is also to be electrified.