ARGENTINA’s Ministry of Transport has signed contracts worth Peso 2.74bn ($US 27.6m) to upgrade the Buenos Aires Constitución - La Plata branch of the Roca Line to increase frequencies and reduce travel times on the country’s busiest commuter rail line.

The project is being financed with a loan from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and will reduce travel times on the line by 11% on weekdays, 14% on Saturdays and 19% on Sundays and public holidays.

The Buenos Aires Constitución - La Plata branch line carries 2.5 million passengers a month. The ministry signed a contract for the 13.4km Avellaneda - City Bell/Via Circuito section on September 21, followed by a contract for the 18.6km City Bell - La Plata section on October 20.

The renewal includes the replacement of track, switches and crossings, the renewal of embankments and drainage, and the repair of level crossings.

The government approved $US 278m in funding for the purchase of 200 new suburban EMU cars in February 2019, following a €90m contract awarded to Alstom and Argentinean construction company Pose in December 2018 to modernise signalling on the Roca Line.

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