Buenos Aires to renew diesel-powered commuter lines

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Argentina Fender 2
Belgrano Sur GE locomotive No. F624 at Aldo Bonzi with the shuttle service from Puente Alsina in November 2010.
Keith Fender
BUENOS AIRES, Argentina — The government of Argentina has ordered 27 meter-gauge D.M.U. cars to operate the "Belgrano Sur" commuter rail network in the southern suburbs of Buenos Aires. The trains will be built by China CNR Corp. in China and will be largely financed with loans from Chinese banks. An additional order for 96 D.M.U. cars for services on the non-electrified parts of the 5-foot, 5-inch gauge Mitre and Sarmiento commuter rail networks is planned shortly.

Both major Chinese rail manufacturing corporations, China CNR and CSR Corp., have obtained major contracts in Argentina in recent years as the government there plans to renew almost all commuter rail equipment in a five year period. Both Chinese rolling stock manufacturers now plan to establish rail assembly plants in Argentina.

Operation of the Belgrano Sur service had been the responsibility of the Unidad de Gestión Operativa Ferroviaria de Emergencia consortium of private train operators that replaced the previous private concession operator, Metropolitano, in 2007. In August this year, the Argentine Government announced that state-owned rail operating company SOFSE would take over operation of the line within three months.

The Belgrano Sur network has the widest variety of diesel locos of any of the Buenos Aires commuter rail systems. That includes General Electric-built U12C locomotives, dating from 1958, plus the later U13C model, and a variety of more modern GE and EMD designs, many built under license in either Argentina or Brazil.
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