The Costa Rican Institute of Railways (INCOFER) announced that on December 3rd, 2018, the Board of Directors of the institution approved the purchase of 8 new trains to the CRRC Qingdao Sifang Co., Ltd. factory, winner of the process. The award was made under the figure of successive direct negotiation, in accordance with article 19 of the Regulations of the Special Administrative Contracting System, according to Law N° 9366.

These trains -with the latest technology- will be composed of two 2 Diesel Multiple Units (DMU) each (in total 16 train units), which will be manufactured in accordance with the technical specifications incorporated by INCOFER in the contracting process.

One of the new Chinese electric train models

The equipment for the workshop, maintenance, training, and spare parts is also included. The total investment is US$ 32,659,122.82.

The news was announced on Thursday morning at a press conference at the Atlantic Station, where the President of the Republic, Carlos Alvarado Quesada, the First Lady, Claudia Dobles Camargo, and the Executive President of INCOFER, Elizabeth Briceño Jiménez.

Advanced technology

With a length of 38 meters, each of the 8 new trains will have a capacity of 372 passengers – that is more than double the current one -, they will have air conditioning, preferential seating, and space for 2 wheelchairs per DMU.

Also, a passenger information model that includes the train’s radio system (the driver’s intercom and the passenger’s emergency alarm) and the information display system through LED screens. One of the innovative components of these new trains is the reduction of internal and external sound for the comfort of passengers and citizens.

View of the new modules and the comfort available for passengers

The bodywork will be made of high strength stainless steel that lengthens the useful life of the train for up to 30 years. The engines will be friendlier when complying with European regulations EU STAGE III-A, which consists of the best use of fuel, which will contaminate less than the current ones.

President Alvarado reiterated the commitment of his Administration to improve public transport and move towards a more responsible country with the environment. “We are moving steadily towards a better mobility service that provides adequate conditions for all users of this means of transport,” he said.

For its part, the First Lady said that “we are committed to modernizing the rail service to ensure sustainable, efficient and quality mobility for the population. Our medium-term project is the Electric Train, and in the short term it is essential to renew the rolling equipment of the current service, which is precisely what INCOFER is announcing today “.

The Executive President of INCOFER explained that this purchase has been called Phase 0 of the Electric Train Project of the GAM, which will allow new users to use the service and thus strengthen the sustainability of the system as long as the new one is built and operated draft. “We will provide a better travel experience for train users so that we can guarantee the service’s itinerary”, he said.

Workshop machinery and spare parts

INCOFER has carried out the indicated processes in order to find in the railway market a company that assures and certifies quality equipment, with the technically suitable conditions and with four different types of guarantees for this purchase.

“The technical proposal of CRRC Qingdao Sifang Co., Ltd. is serious and complies with all the technical parameters required by INCOFER in the contracting process”, explained Briceño.

He added that, in addition to the new trains, a series of specialized machinery is included for the INCOFER workshops and a stock of spare parts to maintain and thus maximize the useful life of the equipment. “The equipment offered has 21st-century technology incorporated, not only for the supply of DMUs but also for the workshop team”, said the senior officer.

14 equipment kits will be acquired for workshop maintenance such as lathes, bearing pits, precision special forklift equipment, train washing machine, traveling crane gantry, milling machine, hydraulic jacks, gas measuring equipment, gas, and electric test bench.

Once the signing of the contract with the awarded company is made, it is expected that in 16 months the first 2 trains will be delivered and in 18 months the delivery of the whole will be delivered. The workshop machinery will be ready in the following 10 months.