Under the deal the Chinese government will provide Argentina with state-backed loans totalling $US 2.4bn, supplementing the $US 2.1bn loan agreed during the state visit of Chinese president Mr Xi Jinping to Buenos Aires in July 2014.

The initial tranche of funding is being used to upgrade around 3000km of track and purchase 100 locomotives and around 3500 wagons, which are being supplied by CRRC under a contract awarded by the Argentinean government at the end of last year. The first of the new locomotives (pictured) was formally presented to Randazzo by CRRC on September 6.

Randazzo also signed a further agreement with China Railway Construction Corporation (CRCC) chairman Mr Zhou Tianxiang in Beijing on September 9 for a feasibility study into the electrification of Buenos Aires' San Martin suburban line. Randazzo says the study will be carried out by the Chinese "at no cost to Argentina."