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2/8/2005



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

Transandian line to traverse Andes Mountains, serve as critical rail corridor


At Asociación Latinoamericana de Ferrocarriles' (ALAF) seminar held in the foothills of the Andes Mountains in December, the organization — known in the United States as the Association of Latin American Railroads — marked milestones involving the past and future. ALAF celebrated its 40th anniversary and commemorated the start of construction on a 34-mile segment of the Transandian Railroad South that will traverse the Andes.

Projected to cost $49 million to build, the line eventually will run 120 miles from Ferrosur Roca S.A.'s western terminus in Zapala, Argentina, to connections with Chilean railroads and Pacific ports.

The Portuguese government is funding the mountainous segment, which Argentine province Neuquen is managing through a public/private partnership.

There has been much interest in building a railroad to penetrate the formidable Andes, which stretch from Panama's isthmus to the Antarctic Ocean. This vital rail corridor will reduce transit times and help advance the South American continent's resources.

Frank Richter


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