San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Railway institute mulls building train ring around San José

The Costa Rican Railroad Institute (INCOFER) has connected Pavas, west of San José, and Heredia, north of the capital, to San José center. Now, with those projects distancing themselves in the rearview mirror, the institute is shifting its focus to a train ring that would circle northwest through Alajuela and extend southeast to Cartago, passing Heredia and Pavas along the way.

The ring, which would connect four of the country´s seven provinces, would begin in downtown Alajuela, connect to the downtown Heredia station, and pass Santo Domingo de Heredia and Tibás before arriving at the Estación al Atlántico in San José. It would return to Alajuela by way of Pavas, passing San Antonio de Belén, Guácima and Ciruelas.

The line, which currently runs from the Estación al Atlántico to eastern San José´s Universidad Latina, would extend through Tres Ríos and end in downtown Cartago.

A preliminary feasibility study for the project completed by Iberinsa-Ineco, a Spanish engineering company, concluded that 18.5 kilometers of railway between ULatina and Cartago would have to be repaired at a cost of $5 million.

Of the 20 km of tracks that run between Alajuela and San José, 11 km need repair and require an investment of $3.9 million, according to the study.

In addition to the rehabilitation of railways, the study gauged the cost of concrete railway ties, construction of new gutters and sewers along the tracks and bridges.

All of these factors together round out to about $27 million and six years of work.

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