CHILE: The 15 Chinese-built multiple-units ordered by national operator EFE to work regional services in the south of the country were formally unveiled on March 23.


As part of the government’s Chile on Rails investment strategy, EFE awarded contracts in 2018 and 2019 for CRRC Qingdao Sifang to supply 12 three-car electric multiple-units and three two-car diesel multiple-units. The first sets were shipped from China in December. Total cost of the package is put at US$87m including the construction of a maintenance depot in Hualqui.


Nine of the EMUs will be used by EFE subsidiary Ferrocarriles del Sur on Biotrén services radiating from Concepción to Talcahuano, Hualqui and Coronel, and three on the longer Corto Laja route from Talcahuano to Laja.

The DMUs will operate on the 65 km Victoria – Temuco line in Araucania.

The trains were unveiled at the new San Eugenio depot in a ceremony attended by Transport Minister Gloria Hutt, EFE President Pedro_Errazuriz and the Governor of Bio Bío region Patricio Kuhn, as well as CRRC representative Ma Qiang.


Errázuriz said the operator was ‘overjoyed’ to present what he described as ‘for the first time a complete fleet of new trains for the south’.

Noting that Fesur had already begun crew training ready for the start of revenue service later this year, Kuhn said the 12 EMUs for Biotren would ‘improve the quality of life of 1·2 million people, who will travel more comfortably and safely’.


Recapping on progress with the Chile on Rails programme, Deputy Transport Secretary Jose Luis Domínguez added that new trains for MetroTren Rancagua were expected to arrive in the middle of the year, while the six four-car electro-diesel multiple-units being built by CRRC Sifang for long-distance services on the Santiago – Chillán route would be delivered at the beginning of 2022.