Wegh will establish a production plant in Florida, Uruguay, which will have capacity to produce 2200 sleepers per day. Production is scheduled to start at the end of August 2020 and continue for 287 working days.

The monobloc pre-stressed concrete sleepers will be installed on the 1435mm-gauge line, rehabilitation of which will help to improve freight services from the port to the centre of the country. The Grupo Via Central (GVC) consortium of two Uruguayan as well as Spanish and French construction companies won a design, build, finance, operate and transfer public-private partnership (PPP) contract for the line upgrade from a tender issued in 2017.

Italian State Railways (FS) is supervising the work under a €629,000 contract signed with Uruguay’s Ministry of Transport in February. Three FS employees are working in Uruguay supported by three in Rome.

The upgraded line will facilitate 80km/h operation and 22.5-tonne axleloads, helping to boost the transport of cellulose on the line. The project is expected to take 36 months to complete.