A 40.6km metre-gauge railway between Campo Quijano and Güemes in the Lerma Valley in northwest Argentina reopened on July 12 after 51 years as part of the country’s Transport Modernisation Plan.  

There are three stops on the route at Pacto de los Cerrillos, Combate de Rosario de Lerma and Camp Quijano. It will use the 17.2km easternmost section of Argentina’s C13 route and the first 23.4km of the C14 branch of the metre-gauge Belgrano Railway.  

There will be six daily trains on weekdays with two running between Salta and Güemes using the reopened railway. Journey time between those two stations will be 2hr 52min for the 87km journey. 

To reopen the railway, 41km of track was upgraded, and new roads, bridges and culverts were constructed while 54 vehicular and pedestrian crossings were brought up to safe standards. Work continues on the construction of 25km of fencing and installation of 32 remotely-controlled barriers.  Eight stations are also being renovated, with the toilets, roofs, drainage, flooring, plastering, painting, electrical and lighting fittings repaired. 

“We are meeting the challenge of running the train again after 51 years; a commitment that I assumed at the request of the president of the nation, of the minister of transportation; and the president of the Chamber of Deputies,” says Mr Martín Marinucci, president of Argentinean Trains.  

There are plans to order new Alerce metre-gauge DMUs from Argentine manufacturer Emepa.