Last July 29th, 2019, President Carlos Alvarado and the Minister of Transportation, Rodolfo Méndez Mata, signed a decree declaring the Limonene Electric Freight Train (TELCA) project of public interest, which would arrive in San Carlos, passing through Sarapiquí. The announcement was made by Elizabeth Jiménez Briceño, Executive President of the Costa Rican Railroad Institute (INCOFER).
It should be remembered that the Central American Bank for Economic Integration (BCIE) awarded on May 29th, 2019, the contracting of technical, economic-financial, environmental, and social feasibility studies for the TELCA project. These cover the viability of the existing sections between Limón and Río Frío (109 kilometers), and between Limón and Valle de la Estrella (60 km), as well as the viability of a new section between Río Frío and Bajo de Chilamate (approximately 30 km).
The project aims to modernize the Río Frío – Limón – Valle de la Estrella railroad network and expand it to Bajos de Chilamate in Sarapiquí. This seeks to promote the transportation of cargo through the railroad with a clean and renewable energy source, reduce the traffic congestion of route 32, and strongly boost the economy of the Atlantic Region.
Similarly, INCOFER intends to achieve the connection between Bajos de Chilamate and Muelle de San Carlos, so that in the future the connection with the border post of Tablillas will be also achieved.
The feasibility study of the project is proposed to be ready in March 2020, in order to start in the 2nd half of the same year the bidding processes of hiring the companies and the equipment suppliers that will build it.