China-made trains arrive in Argentina

Updated: 2015-03-07 06:31


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China-made trains arrive in Argentina

Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner waves to the crowd after inspecting one of the 300 railway carriages made by CSR that arrived in Buenos Aires from China. They form part of Argentina's plans to upgrade a major railway line. MARTIN ZABALA / XINHUA

A batch of 300 railway carriages from China's State-owned electric locomotive manufacturer CSR has been delivered to Argentina for $354 million.

Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner hosted an event to mark their arrival in Buenos Aires, the South American nation's capital.

CSR, the world's largest manufacturer of electric locomotives, has supplied trains and other railway products to Argentina since 2006. In 2013, the company won two orders worth a total of $1 billion from that country to supply intercity trains.

The new carriages form part of Argentina's plans to upgrade the General Roca line, which connects the northern Patagonia region with the city of La Plata and municipalities surrounding the capital.

The line is in the largest rail network in Argentina, according to Fernandez.

The new stock is equipped with advanced traction and braking mechanisms and high-tech surveillance and warning systems. It will replace old carriages pulled by diesel locomotives, mostly dating to the 1950s and the 1980s.

Argentina still needs to complete electrification of its rail network to put the new carriages into use.

"We believe electrification of the line will be completed by the end of the year. This will allow us to transport 140 million passengers a year, instead of the current 110 million," Fernandez said.

Argentina expects to invest $500 million on renovating the General Roca line, helped by a loan from the Inter-American Development Bank.

Xinhua contributed to this story.