May 12, 2015

Peru-Chile rail link to reopen in July

Written by  Ian Thomson Newman
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REHABILITATION is underway of the 62km line linking Tacna in southern Perú, with Arica in northern Chile, and the passenger service should be restored in July with two round trips per day using a refurbished railbus.

The service was discontinued in March 2012 due to the poor state of the track and mechanical problems with the only operational railbus.

The Tacna-Arica Railway (FCTA) belongs to the Tacna regional government which had initiated repair work, but this has now intensified with funding from the Peruvian National Transport and Communications Ministry.

The Peruvian government agency ProInversión has contracted a feasibility study into the operation of freight services between the port of Arica and the Tacna Duty-Free Zone, both of which lie close to the railway, as well as local services in Tacna. If they prove viable, the services would be put out to tender.

This is second South America cross-border passenger rail service to be revived. At the end of 2014, a DMU service was inaugurated between Posadas, Argentina, and Encarnación, Paraguay, vía the San Roque González de Santa Cruz bridge across the Paraná river. The service is carrying up to 8000 passengers per day, whereas the revived FCTA service cannot be expected to carry more than a few hundred.


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