Spanish Public Train Operators to Share Expertise

April 16, 2010

The Public Works and Transport Ministry (MOPT) and the Costa Rican Railroad Institute (INCOFER) signed a three-year cooperation agreement Monday with two Spanish rail companies to improve San José’s recently installed urban trains.

Renfe-Operadora and Ferrocarriles Españoles will provide INCOFER officials with technical training, conduct logistical assessments, advise the institute on equipment purchases, and consult on management and maintenance of future railway projects. The groups may also work together to develop a tourism train, according to a news release from MOPT.

Within the last two years, the Central Valley has seen the revitalization of metropolitan trains that travel between Pavas in western San José and San Pedro, east of San José, as well as between downtown San José and Heredia to the north.

Since both trains have begun running, the demand has surpassed INCOFER’s original expectations, forcing the railway institute to increase service and add cars.

INCOFER officials believe the Spanish companies will help equip the government train operator to deal with Costa Rica’s increasing demand for rail transit, in which case they may ask for an extension of the technical assistance agreement.

–Mike McDonald

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