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Brazilian railroad to undergo major upgrade, expansion

The Brazilian government is heading an effort to invest $147.6 million in Brasil Ferrovias S.A. to modernize and expand the railroad, reduce bottlenecks and grow export rail traffic, according to the International Heavy Haul Association (IHHA).

Government development bank BNDES and the railroad's majority shareholders are funding the modernization through a public-private partnership. Investors believe an upgraded railroad will offer soybean and iron-ore exporters a cheaper and faster transportation option, IHHA said.

The partnership plans to add 3,100 miles to the railroad. In addition, a number of companies will invest a total of $977 million to upgrade about 18,000 track miles in Brazil that are privately controlled.

Formed in 2002, Brasil Ferrovias operates former Ferronorte railroads Ferroban-Bandeirantes Railroads, Novoeste Railroad and Railroads Brazil North.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 3/17/2005