#CRCC, #Argentina Ink US$2.5b Deal to Reactivate Freight Rail Line

Xinhua : The Argentine government signed an agreement with the China Railway Construction Corporation (CRCC) on Friday to reactivate the San Martin Cargas railway.

The line is one of the South American country’s three main cargo railways, connecting western productive provinces with the eastern agricultural export region.

Argentine President Alberto Fernandez presided over the signing of the 2.6 billion-U.S. dollar contract, the biggest contract in a series of railway agreements signed Friday with Chinese companies.

Under the contract, the CRCC will provide the engineering, technology and equipment.

The agreement seeks to rehabilitate the railway corridors of the San Martin line, improve its infrastructure to boost cargo capacity from 3 million to 9 million tons, and increase train operational speed from 40 to 90 km per hour, according to the president’s office.

The project will renovate 1,813 km of the railway line, benefiting the provinces of Buenos Aires (center-east), Santa Fe (center), San Luis (west), Cordoba (center) and Mendoza (west), and eventually directly generate some 16,830 jobs.

The San Martin Cargas railway connects the agricultural region of Argentina’s Pampas — where soybeans, corn, wheat and sunflowers are produced — with the export hub of the port of Rosario in Santa Fe Province.

The project to reactivate the cargo railway in Argentina is part of a comprehensive plan with China, which in 2017 included the purchase of 3,500 wagons plus 107 locomotives for the San Martin line, replacing trains dating to the 1960s.

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