The Costa Rican Institute of Railways (Incofer) have announced that a decision must be reached before September 2015, as to whether the country continues with narrow gauge (1,067 mm) or switch to standard gauge (1,435 mm) for all future projects.
Guillermo Santana, CEO of Incofer, has indicated that he feels a change in widths would be the preferable approach, but both most be carefully considered. According to Santana, although the cost of replacing existing equipment would be substantial, in the long-term, executing future projects with a standard gauge will prove more profitable.
“We think that most passenger and freight trains worldwide have a different track width to ours. The change opens up the rolling stock market, and mean we are not just tied to one, which is currently the case”, the executive officer explained.
Santana is currently leading an ambitious project, aiming to link downtown Alajuela with Paraíso de Cartago. He explained that the project requires viaducts and tunnels to be completed.
“This study, as with the electric train project between Alajuela and Cartago, are dependent on the approval of the plan from the legislative assembly”, Santana noted.
The light rail project will cost around, $1,400 million, including the cost of rail and constructing tunnels. It will run for 44km and transport over 5,000 people per day.