Costa Rica: Interest in Urban Train Project

Public companies from Italy, Spain, China and Switzerland have expressed interest in taking part in the proposed implementation of an urban electric train system.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Carlos Vargas, president of the Instituto Costarricense de Ferrocarriles (Incofer) confirmed with an interest on the part of foreign public companies and noted that "... for now we can not give out details of the persons concerned or the type of partnership that could be used to operate the transport system, as they are awaiting the results of a prefeasibility study."

According to Vargas, "... when the data (study) is released, the interested parties can analyze and communicate if they wish maintain their position in regards to the project. The expectation of the organization is to release the study this month. 'What will follow is a presentation of the study, making it available to the public and companies interested in seeing what the demands are, what the possibilities are, what the project consists of. What everyone most wants to know is the number of passengers," said Vargas. "

See "Costa Rica: Money for Urban Train"

The ambitious plan, which several administrations have already tried to develop without success, is estimated at $1.6 billion, and consists in developing 80 kilometers of railways, with lines in two directions, overpasses and new additional stations on top of those that already exist. 

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The Central American Bank for Economic Integration approved a loan to the government of Costa Rica to finance part of the project "Fast Passengers Train of the Great Metropolitan Area."

The investment in infrastructure and equipment of the project represents $1.298 million, which is expected to be executed under the modality of Public Private Partnership, with a state contribution of $550 million, which will be provided by the Central American Bank for Economic Integration (CABEI), according to a statement from the financial institution.

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The new plan by the new president of the Instituto Costarricense de Ferrocarriles (Incofer) requires "... at least $600 million to cover about 100 kilometers of track, which includes the route up to Alajuela."

Costa Rica: Feasibility of Metropolitan Electric Train

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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.