The Ministry of the Interior and Transport of Argentina has awarded a RMB3.43bn ($546m) contract to CSR Qingdao Sifang Locomotive & Rolling Stock, a subsidiary of China Southern Rolling Stock (CSR), to supply 55 trainsets, totalling 409 electric multiple unit (EMU) cars.
The new vehicles will replace the ageing trains on the Mitre and Sarmiento suburban lines in Buenos Aires.
Out of the 409 1676mm-gauge EMUs, 225 cars will be used on the Sarmiento Line and 184 on the Mitre Line.
The first vehicle is scheduled to be delivered in February 2014 with the rest expected to arrive in Argentina by November 2015.
Complete production will be carried out at CSR’s facilities in China; the total cost per vehicle will be $1.265m, excluding transport from production plants and spare parts.
Around 85% of the total contract value is supported by funds from the Chinese government under a ten-year soft loan.
The Mitre and Sarmiento routes are being run by the UGOMS consortium of Ferrovías and Metrovías, which took over operations from Trenes de Buenos Aires in May 2012 following a fatal collision at Buenos Aires Once station on 22 February 2012, which killed 51 people and injured hundreds more.
Both lines are electrified and the consortium has 211 EMU cars to operate on the 58km section of the Mitre network and 206 cars for the 36km Sarmiento route.
Image: The new CSR EMU cars will replace the life-expired trains on the Mitre and Sarmiento suburban lines in Buenos Aires. Photo: courtesy of Albasmalko.