THE governor of the Brazilian state of São Paulo, Mr Tarcísio de Freitas, has launched SP on Rail, a Reais 194bn ($US 37.2bn) investment programme comprising over 40 inter-city, commuter rail, metro and light rail projects with a total length of over 1000km.

Nine projects have already been approved by the state’s Secretariat of Investment Partnerships (SPI), including the North Axis of the InterCity Train (TIC) network that São Paulo is now developing.

The North Axis will see the C2 Mobilidade Sobre Trilhos consortium upgrade the 101km São Paulo - Campinas line for express passenger services under a public-private partnership (PPP) contract including operations and maintenance for 30 years that was signed on May 29.

The Reais 14.2bn project includes operation of the InterMetropolitan Train (TIM) service from over the 44km from Jundiaí to Campinas. C2 will also be responsible for upgrading and operating Line 7/Ruby of the São Paulo Metropolitan Trains (CPTM) commuter network, running for 57km from Palmeiras-Barra Funda to Jundiaí.

The preliminary phase of the North Axis project runs until November, when the concessionaire will present its finance, property acquisition and rehousing plans. C2 will also work with CPTM to prepare for taking over operations on Line 7 from 2026, when the 30-year operating period starts.

Other preparatory work must be completed by June 2026, when construction is due begin. Work on Line 7 and TIM is expected to be completed in June 2029 and on TIC in the second half of 2032.

Commercial operations on TIM are due to start in 2030 and on the North Axis TIC in 2032.

SPI has approved three other TIC projects, including the Reais 8.5bn West Axis from São Paulo to Sorocaba. Technical studies are now underway with a view to starting tendering of the concession contract in 2025.

The East Axis would connect São Paulo with São José dos Campos and is expected to cost Reais 10bn. Work is now underway to conduct feasibility studies and develop the funding structure for the project which would see 80km to 130km of railway upgraded for inter-city services.

The São Paulo state government is also working on feasibility studies and the business model for the South Axis from São Paulo to Santos. This is estimated to cost Reais 15bn and would see 80km to 115km of infrastructure upgraded.

“Roads are becoming increasingly congested and we need a sustainable solution that is in line with what the world is doing,” says de Freitas.

“If we're going to start restoring passenger rail in Brazil, it has to happen in São Paulo,” he adds. “We're going to deliver the rebirth of rail in the state of São Paulo and get the people of São Paulo back on the train.”

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