It has been announced that the company China Railway Company is studying whether it would be feasible to reactivate a passenger train service between San Salvador and the area of Sitio del Niño, in the municipality of San Juan Opico.
Authorities at the Executive Port Commission (CEPA) explained that the studies that were started during the previous administration with the Spanish company Tramrail have not been completed, and now it is the company China Railway Company which is analyzing the feasibility of the project.
The project that intended to connect the Tecun Uman San Marcos line with the line belonging to the Compañía de Ferrocarriles Chiapas-Mayab de México will not be viable before 2017.
The initial idea put forward by President Maldonado in 2015 was that the Mexican train known as "La Bestia" (The Beast), would enter Guatemalan soil through Tecun Uman, where it would receive cargo to be transported from Central America to Mexico and the US.
The Executive Branch is considering the cancellation of the lease agreement between Ferrovías and Cobigua after the Attorney General's Office filed a complaint alleging anomalies.
The Executive is evaluating whether it will declare invalid the lease agreement between Compañía Desarrolladora Ferroviaria (Ferrovías) and Compañía Bananera Guatemalteca Independiente (Cobigua) days after the PGN filed a suit with the Public Prosecutor to start an investigation to determine " ... who were the people responsible for signing the contract, in addition to identifying what legal standards were used by Ferrovías to finalise the aforementioned contract, since that company has no power over the state." See "Corruption denounce in the concessioning and management of Puerto Quetzal" Lahora.gt reports that "...The contract entitles Cobigua to use the port of Puerto Barrios, Izabal, until 2048, after the expiry last year of the onerous usufruct contract, awarded in 1990. In the view of the former Attorney General of the Nation, Maria Eugenia Villagran, Ferrovías had no authority to give the port administration over to Cobigua."
Although the funds are not yet available, nor is there legislative authority to borrow, the Instituto Costarricense de Ferrocarriles has announced that it intends to acquire 8 trains.
An article on Crhoy reports that "...Guillermo Santana, CEO of Incofer, said the new units will have to comply with national railway infrastructure conditions, for which reason the rolling stock must be modified by the manufacturer and will take longer to arrive. "
Three years after the first attempt, the government has announced that the railway project estimated at $200 million will be tendered in 2017 under a public-private partnership scheme.
In 2013 the National Agency for Partnerships for Economic Infrastructure Development (ANADIE) had tried to tender the design and construction of an urban passenger train and a railway terminal, however, it never materialized. Now the government of President Jimmy Morales has taken up the project under the same scheme of a public-private partnership, only evaluating the work at $200 million and not $350 million as projected previously. Diario de Centroamerica reported that the initiative will be presented to Congress.
It has been announced that as of December 15th the Tecún Uman San Marcos line will connect with the mexican Compañía de Ferrocarriles Chiapas-Mayab in order to transport cargo from Guatemala.
The Mexican train known as "The Beast", will enter onto Guatemalan soil through Tecún Uman, where it will receive cargo to be transported from Central America to Mexico and the United States. Results of a study undertaken as part of the project indicate that the costs of railway land freight transport could be reduced by between 30% and 40%.
Panama Canal Railway Company plans to invest $75 million once the concession of the port is approved, which is still waiting for legislation to grant the concessionaire the same tax benefits that other port operators receive.
An article on Thebulletinpanama.com reports that the operator of the Interoceanic train (PCRC) "... invested about $80 million in renovation and modernization in order to make initial annual capacity 400,000 containers. Since then the consortium made up of the US companies Kansas City Southern and Mi-Jack Products, has invested $100 million in improvements, equipment and expansion works. "
The government announced that it is studying the feasibility of the project based on an electric train, and some companies have expressed interest in a possible freight service between the port and the greater metropolitan area.
The Ministry of Foreign Trade (Comex) and the authorities of the Instituto Costarricense de Ferrocarriles (Incofer) announced that for funding for the possible launch of the train they will evaluate "... the option of a public-private partnership to execute the work. Guillermo Santana at Incofer said "... 'We have every intention of promoting agreements and developing a more competitive freight train for the region.'"
The government is looking for new options to the Spanish railway companies with whom the country has worked in the past years.
The new director of the Instituto Costarricense de Ferrocarriles (Incofer) has stated that its management will aim to find the best options for developing a system using metropolitan electric trains working in coordination with buses and taxis.
The feasibility study which determines that the electric train in the greater metropolitan area is viable was carried out by a Spanish company, and paid for by the Spanish government as part of the marketing efforts made by railway companies, also of the same nationality.
According to the Spanish firm Ineco, a global consultant on transport engineering, the construction of an electric railway connecting the cities of Alajuela, Heredia, Cartago and San José, is viable.
The National Agency for Partnerships for Development in Guatemala has announced the construction of an intermodal terminal at the customs office in Tecún Umán II.
The investment is estimated to be about $40 million, with the feasibility study having already been awarded at a cost of $362 thousand. What has been called a "dry port" will be a terminal for cargo transfer between trucks and trains.
The government is considering various options for the revival of rail freight in the country.
The Government is considering two options to revive freight railroad in the country. The first is the creation of a state company that would operate under the public-private partnership model and the second is a concession in tranches awarded to different companies.
The announcement was made by the director of the National Alliance for the Development of Economic Infrastructure (ANADIE), Julio Héctor Estrada, who added that in the long-term they are looking at extending the route from Tecún to Puerto Quetzal.
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