Monday, March 13, 2017

Cuban network modernisation plans revealed

Written by  Erwin Reidinger
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CUBAN authorities and Russian Railways (RZD) announced further details of a plan to upgrade Cuba's railway network on March 8 following the conclusion of a study conducted by RZD International.

The work was carried out under an agreement reached in November 2016 and the study recommends upgrades and modernisation of the following lines:

  • the Cuban Central Line (Havana - Santiago). This line was upgraded and partly realigned with Russian aid in the 1980s but has since deteriorated.
  • the Santa Clara - Cienfuegos line,
  • the Southern Line between Havana and Navajas
  • the Montalvo Branch, which connects Navajas with the Cuban Central Line at Jovellanos, and
  • the Havana suburban network.

The plan also proposes construction of a new line between Havana and the Varadero tourist resort, which currently has no rail connection.

RZD International is undertaking a feasibility study into this project and is considering two options: a new branch line from the Central Line at Matanzas or extending the electrified Hershey Line from Matanzas to Varadero.

The rehabilitation programme also involves installing new communications and signalling equipment, training facilities and introducing modern operational standards.

The project is expected to be completed in 2030 at a cost of €1bn.

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