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Buenos Aires-Rosario-Cordoba high-speed railway


The Buenos AiresRosarioCordoba high-speed railway (Tren de Alta Velocidad TAVe) is a project that will, according to its proponents, link the Argentine cities of Buenos Aires, Rosario and Cordoba through a high-speed rail network. The plan, announced by President Nestor Kirchner during a press conference at the Casa Rosada on 26 April 2006, will be the first in Argentina and the Americas operating at up to 320km/h (200mph). 'Cobra' offers high speed future Railway Gazette International August 2007.

Overview of system

Buenos Aires and its metropolitan area has a population of more than 12 million, almost one third of the national total. It is the economic and political center of Argentina, and its main international entry point.

Rosario, located about north-northwest, is the third-largest city and a major port, with a metropolitan population over 1.6 million. It is part of the agricultural and industrial core of the littoral region.

Cordoba, with a population around 2 million, is located about from Buenos Aires, near the geographical center of Argentina. It is the second most populated conurbation, and a cultural, touristic and industrial center.

Currently, the main form of transportation between these three cities is by road, through National Route 9, followed far behind by air travel.

Features

A high-speed electric train operating at up to 320 km/h (200 mph) with overhead catenary power lines on a standard gauge track of 1435 mm (4 ft 812 in), will run to Rosario on a double-track route and to Cordoba on a new single-track alignment. Alstom is to provide eight, 509 passenger double-deck TGVs equipped with ETCS Level 2 signalling, the new line should provide a Buenos Aires - Rosario journey time of 85 min, with Cordoba reached 90 min later.

Stations

The new train will link the cities along the central corridor trough the agricultural heartland of Argentina. According to the current plan, there will be 20 train services daily, carrying about 7,500 passengers. Several intermediate stops are planned between the main ones, most likely in the cities of Pilar, Campana, San Pedro, San Nicolas de los Arroyos, Canada de Gomez, Marcos Juarez, Bell Ville and Villa Maria.

Bids, costs and financing

The total cost of the Buenos AiresRosarioCordoba line was calculated at between $1,000 and $1,200 million.

Four European firms presented themselves as bidders: Alstom (French), Siemens (German), CAF (Spanish) and Impregilo (Italian). Pre-contractual conditions stated that the national state will pay for the whole sum, but the firm in charge of the construction will finance 50%. When technical and financial bids were due in March 2007 only the Veloxia grouping of Alstom, Isolux Corsan, Iecsa and Emepa came forward, and the consortium was selected as preferred bidder on 20 June 2007.

Veloxia was formally selected on 16 January 2008, with a contract to be signed 'in the next few months'. Argentina confirms high speed rail consortium Railway Gazette International 17 January 2008. Alstom will suppy eight double-deck TGV trains called 'Cobra'. IECSA will undertake civil engineering, Isolux Corsan and EMEPA will construct the track.

Schedule

May 8, 2006: Licitation call (offerers qualification): Impregilo, Siemens, Alstom and CAF.

July 25, 2006: Companies qualification act: Siemens, Alstom and CAF.

December 20, 2006: Technical offers. Delayed two times until March 27, 2007: Only Alstom.

January 30, 2007: Economic offers. Delayed two times until April 30, 2007.

January 16, 2008: Argentina chooses Alstom-led consortium to build the first very high speed line in Latin America

The Mar del Plata connection

The lastest news about TAVe is the launching of the licitation for a new line to the seaside beach resort city and major fishing port of Mar del Plata, 400 Km (250 miles) south of Buenos Aires city, though in this case, from Constitucion railway station, in the central southeast part of the city.

According to the plan, the new train will develop an average speed of 250 kilometers (155 mph) and a maximum of 320 km/h (200 mph). It would only have stations in Dolores and Chascomus and will arrive at Mar del Plata in less than two hours. Today, the service presents serious deficiencies and delays and takes over seven hours in arriving at its its final destination, which contrasts greatly to the service provided in the '50s by "El Marplatense" with speeds of up to 90 + mph (150 kph) making the run in 3 hrs 45 min in stainless steel Budd-built formations which where "very high speed" in those days.

See also

Transportation in Argentina

External links

www.railway-technology.com: Argentine High-Speed Railway

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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Buenos Aires-Rosario-Cordoba high-speed railway


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