CHILEAN State Railways (EFE) has announced what it describes as the largest single rolling stock order to be placed since the company was created in 1884, which will see CRRC Sifang and Temoinsa supply a total of 32 three-car commuter EMUs for $US 171.36m.

Of the 32 new trains, 22 will be deployed to operate on the new 61km commuter line running westwards from Alameda station in Santiago to Melipilla, with the remaining 10 ordered for the new route running north from Alameda to Quinta Normal and Batuco.

Infrastructure upgrades on both routes, including electrification at 3kV dc and resignalling, is currently in progress.

EFE says that the new trains will be similar to the fleet recently acquired to operate commuter services between Alameda and Rancagua. They will have a maximum speed of 140km/h and capacity for up to 807 seated and standing passengers per train.

The new trains will be air-conditioned and fully accessible, including provision for passengers in wheelchairs to board and alight. Deliveries are expected to commence in 2026.

Photo Credit: EFE

The new fleet forms part of EFE’s strategy to triple passenger traffic to 150 million passengers a year by 2027. The new commuter service to Melipilla is expected to carry 57 million passenger a year, and that to Batuco a further 35 million.

With each train replacing 480 private cars and eight buses, EFE says that electric commuter operations between Alameda and Melipilla are expected to reduce CO2 emissions by 38.34 tonnes a year, and NOx emissions by 22.1 tonnes year. MP10 particulate emissions will be reduced by 3.4 tonnes a year, and those of MP2.5 particulates by 2.0 tonnes a year.

“We are very happy with this contract award,” says EFE president, Mr Eric Martin.

“Rail is a clean, fast, efficient and effective mode of transport and these new services will cut journey times by at least an hour, which will create opportunities for students, workers and the public in general.”

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