The Belt and Road

Argentina celebrates first 700 km of renewed Belgrano railway line revamp

Argentine President Mauricio Macri highlighted Friday the benefit to the country brought by the modernization of the Belgrano Cargas train line, an initiative that has the support from China.

Macri directed the inauguration ceremony of the first 700 km of renewed railway tracks of the Belgrano Cargas train in the town of Joaquin V. Gonzalez in Salta province.

“Where there is cargo and work, the railroad will arrive. It is a fundamental piece because it brings Argentines closer to other Argentines,” the president said.

For the modernization and updating of the tracks, he said, the government had “to bid, plan and award the project, do the construction work, and start a cultural change in the company through the training of conductors and everybody else in this new stage with the new equipment brought from China.”

The Argentine government has been working on the recovery of the “C8 branch” of the Belgrano Cargas train, which crosses the northern provinces of Tucuman, Salta and Santiago del Estero.

The works are part of a project that seeks to renovate, for the first time, the 1,800 km of railways in the region and that also covers the provinces of Chaco and Santa Fe.

“The whole world has confidence in us and has opened the door for us to sell what we are capable of doing, and we need to be connected for that,” Macri said during the ceremony.

The train has modern machines produced by the CRRC Qishuyan company, subsidiary of the CRRC Group, China’s leading train manufacturer.

The incorporation of the locomotives is part of the comprehensive plan to reactivate the freight trains. The plan includes the purchase of locomotives and wagons and the rehabilitation of roads.

In a statement, the Argentine government said the works in the Belgrano Cargas train line generated more than 3,700 direct jobs. Between January and April of 2019, it transported 674,010 tons of cargo, 27 percent more than the same period of the previous year.

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