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Last Thursday morning, the Office of the Agency for the Development of the North Zone hosted a very important meeting and follow-up report of the technical and economic feasibility studies of the Limonense Electric Freight Train (TELCA) project.

It should be remembered that the Central American Bank for Economic Integration (BCIE) awarded, on May 29th, 2019, the contracting of the technical, economic-financial, environmental, and social feasibility studies for the Limonense Electric Freight Train (TELCA) project, which cover the viability of the existing sections between Limón and Río Frío (109 kilometers), and between Limón and the Valle Estrella (60 kilometers), as well as the viability of a new section between Río Frío and Bajos de Chilamate (approximately 30 kilometers).

Possible model of electric freight train for Limón

With a representation of the productive sectors, academy, INCOFER, and the company in charge of Feasibility Studies, a meeting was held on the context of the railroad project, where the Development Agency added the interest included in the project of feasibility the issue of passenger transport.

Likewise, Don Alfredo Aguilar, highlighted the issue of the trimonial logistics corridor that is the Region, since the north zone can move cargo of different types, since the region rebounds in the theme of north zone airport, the slatted border post, the infrastructure connection with the Caribbean (Vuelta Kopper-Bajos del Chilamate), and human capital.

Mr. Ignacio Arguedas, an INCOFER engineer in charge of TELCA, commented that this project is in the National Development Plan, National Energy Plan, and the National Plan for Decarbonization of the Economy. Indeed, it is a good development and demonstrates the Government’s commitment of the Republic and that of INCOFER, because this project -together with the Metropolitan Electric Train- is the 2-star project on railway issues of the Alvarado Quesada administration.

“We, within the Studies we conducted, did a survey of a cruise in Limón, where, with certain questions, we were given positive comments on the theme of tourist train added to TELCA. We have identified in the part of the load that the train would capture a large number of banana and pineapple movements, added to a study of cargo transit movements, where the train would be a solution to decongest the 32 route, and also with a seen good and optimism on the part of the companies in the area”, said Daniel Juarez, consultant of the company in charge of studies.

Juarez added that products such as bananas and pineapples, cassava, papaya, and other frozen fruits account for 95% of the exports that leave through Limón, and are very important issues to consider as today in this meeting listen to the sectors for the study of the market they are leading.

Representation of productive sectors

Inside the meeting, there was a space to listen to the productive sector, where the President of the Chamber of Roots and Tubers, Doña Rocío Valerio, explained how from the Chamber they hope that this project can occur, because the sector is rising in products and its added values, and it is the Caribbean where 90% of the products come out.

In this same space, Doña Rocío Padilla, of the CODELA company, located in Los Llanos de Aguas Zarcas and which began operations this year with an investment of more than US$ 30 million, explained how the transport logistics is of utmost importance because ‘32’ is the only route. And if something happens on the road, due to weather conditions or accidents, it creates uncertainty since they do not arrive on time to load ships or products are lost. Hence, the importance of generating better transport options. And that is where the Limonense Electric Freight Train project becomes key for the agro-export sector of the North Zone.

The activities and meetings of the representation of INCOFER and consulting firm will be held in different places; in the afternoon, in the Chamber of Livestock with other sectors, and at night, in La Fortuna with the tourism sector.

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