Tendering for the contract was launched in September 2019, and the trains are scheduled to be delivered in 2022 before entering service in 2023.

The 160km/h trains will operate on the partially-electrified 400km, 12-station route between the Chilean capital of Santiago, and Chillan, the provincial capital of Nubre.

The trains will reduce journey times between San Diego and Chillan from five hours to 3h 40min. Journey times between San Diego and Talca will be reduced by 33 minutes to 2h 22min.

The trains will be able to operate continuously for 1000km under diesel traction and will feature expanded capacity and improved luggage space compared with older rolling stock. The trains will offer catering and passenger entertainment facilities, multi-modal spaces for wheelchairs, and toilets.

The order follows a previous $US 77m contract for 10 three-car EMUs and three two-car DMUs awarded by EFE to CRRC Sifang in October 2018, which began delivery in March.

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