Costa Rica will receive in November four of the eight-passenger trains that it bought from the Chinese company CRRC Quingdao Sifang for the US $ 32.6 million. After suffering delays in their manufacture due to the Coronavirus, the first 4 trains will be shipped from China on October 15th and will arrive in Costa Rica, the fourth week of November, while the second batch of 4 trains will leave China on December 15th and will arrive in January 2021, the National Government announced.
These trains are expected to come into operation in the second quarter of 2021 to provide service in the greater metropolitan area. The Costa Rican Railways Institute (Incofer) indicated that the initial date of the first delivery was scheduled for September, but had to be adjusted due to the Coronavirus Pandemic that caused delays in the manufacture and delivery of some components from suppliers in Germany and Italy.
The president of Incofer, Elizabeth Briceño, said that “more than 10 kilometers of railway have been intervened, carrying out preventive and corrective maintenance”, as well as work on several bridges.
Each train has a length of 38 meters and a capacity of 372 passengers and includes air conditioning, preferential seats, and spaces for wheelchairs, an audio system for passenger information, and an information display system through screens. The purchase contract includes the equipment for the workshop, maintenance, training, service, and spare parts.
The Government of Costa Rica is carrying out a plan to promote public train transportation that includes the renovation of the units that currently provide service in the metropolitan area between the cities of San José, Heredia, Cartago and Alajuela, the main ones in the country.
The large project coordinated by the Government of President Carlos Alvarado is the construction of an electric train in the metropolitan area with a route of 73 kilometers, valued at the US $ 1.2 billion and whose financing would be with a loan from the Central American Bank for Economic Integration and also the participation of private businesses.