Stage 2 involves track renewals on two sections of the route. In the south, 84km of track will be renewed on the Coronda - Laguna Paiva - Naré section in Santa Fe province. The $US 65m project will be financed by the Development Bank of Latin America (CAF).

At the northern end of the line, 277km of track will be renewed on the Talavera - Pichanal section in Salta province at a cost of around $US 210m, while $US 105m will be invested in the renewal of 139km of track between Embarcación in Salta and El Chalicán in neighbouring Jujuy. Both of these projects are being financed by China National Machinery and Equipment Import and Export Corporation (CMEC).

Bids are due to be submitted by next month and work is due to begin by February.

Stage 2 of the Belgrano renewal project is part of the Argentinean government’s $US 4.4bn programme of investment in the rail freight network for 2016-23.

Belgrano cargas stageII map