Tren de las Sierras (technically known as the "A-1" branch of the General Belgrano Railway) is a regional 150.8 km (93.7 mi) regional rail line in Córdoba Province of Argentina. The line runs from Alta Córdoba to Cosquín,[1] being currently operated by state-owned company Trenes Argentinos.

Tren de las Sierras
Trenes arg operac logo.png
Formación del Tren de las Sierras en Estación Cosquín.JPG
A train unit in Cosquín, 2009.
Overview
Service typeRegional
StatusActive
LocaleCórdoba Province (Argentina)
First service1889-1977, 1993-2001
(Last reactivated in 2007; 12 years ago (2007))
Current operator(s)Trenes Argentinos
Former operator(s)Ferrocentral
Route
StartAlta Córdoba
EndCosquín
Distance travelled150,8 km.
Service frequencyDaily
Line(s) usedGeneral Belgrano Railway (A-1 branch)
Technical
Track gauge1,000 mm (3 ft 3 38 in)
Track owner(s)Government of Argentina

Contents

HistoryEdit

 
A steam locomotive of Córdoba Central Railway at Valle Hermoso train station.
 
A railcar belonging to the Argentine State Railway (1930).

The rail line was opened on July 2, 1889 to carry both, freight and passengers from Córdoba to Cruz del Eje, operated by British-owned company Córdoba North Western Railway.[2] In 1901 it was taken over by Córdoba Central Railway which operated the branch until 1909 when the company was acquired by the Argentine State Railway.[3][4]

When the Juan Perón's administration nationalised the whole railway network in 1948, the CNR became part of General Belgrano Railway, one of the six divisions of recently formed Ferrocarriles Argentinos.

By the 1960s the line had its golden age when it carried a big number of passengers of Valle de Punilla, as well as tourists coming from the cities of Córdoba, Rosario and Buenos Aires at attractive prices. Nevertheless, the railway was closed in 1977. When the Government of Argentina leadered by Carlos Menem privatized all the railway lines in the early 1990s, the Córdoba-Cruz del Eje line was transferred to Córdoba Province. The Government of Córdoba stated that they could not finance the service.

As part of a national railway privatisation plan, carried out under the presidency of Carlos Menem, a concession to operate the line was granted to local consortium Grupo Alcázar (that had previously operated the Córdoba Zoo and the Oscar Cabalén racetrack) that took over the railway in 1993 to operate it as a tourist service. Under the trade name "Aero Ruta",[5] the consortium operated the line (also naming it Tren de las Sierras)[6] from Córdoba to Capilla del Monte (100-km length) but services suddenly stopped in 2001.[7] Three years later the Government of Córdoba revoked the contract of concession (by Provincial Decree n° 1274) blaming the concessionary for the bad conditions of the service and poor maintenance.[8]

In 2007 the Province transferred the line to the National Government. On August 10, 2007, the service was partially re-opened, only between cities of Rodríguez del Busto and La Calera. Private consortium Ferrocentral (formed by railway companies Ferrovías and Nuevo Central Argentino) was granted concession to operate the service. The trip took about 40', served by diesel-electric trains manufactured in Portugal and remodeled by Grupo Emepa in its workshops at Chascomús.

In August 2007 the first phase of the project from Rodríguez del Busto to La Calera was re-opened to public by Ferrocentral.[9][10] The National Government invested $ 10 million to re-open the line.[11] Projects also include to extend services to Cruz del Eje.[12]

One year later the rail line reached Cosquín[13] via the "Quebrada of Bamba".

On June 22, 2009, Alta Córdoba was set up as a terminus, but the concessionary decided to move the terminus to Rodríguez del Busto due to people from poor neighborhoods around the station throwing stones at the trains[2][14] In March, 2015, this section of the railway was re-opened by the Minister of the Interior and Transport, Florencio Randazzo[15]

In September 2013 State-owned company Trenes Argentinos took over the Tren de las Sierras, operating it up to present days.[16] In March 2015, Alta Córdoba was set up as terminus again, also incorporating the Hospital Neonatal station.[17][18][19]

OperatorsEdit

Period Operator Start/End
1889-1901 Córdoba North Western Alta CórdobaCruz del Eje
1901-1939 Córdoba Central
1939-1977 Ferrocarriles Argentinos
1993-2001 Grupo Alcázar Alta CórdobaCapilla del Monte
2007-2013 Ferrocentral Alta Córdoba[20]Cosquín
2013-present Trenes Argentinos

GalleryEdit

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Tren de las Sierras diagram on SOFSE website, 5 Feb 2015
  2. ^ a b "Tren de las Sierras: Un viaje de placer" on Crónica Ferroviaria, 30 May 2011
  3. ^ British Railways in Argentina 1857-1914: A Case Study of Foreign Investment by Colin M. Lewis - Athlone Press (for the Institute of Latin American Studies, University of London), 1983
  4. ^ British Railways in Argentina 1860-1948 by H.R. Stones - P.E. Waters & Associates (Bromley, Kent - England, 1993)
  5. ^ "Las vías fantasmas de las sierras", La Voz, 18 Feb 2007
  6. ^ "La Argentina, por la ventanilla de un tren" by Gabriela Cicero, La Nación, 8 Jun 2001
  7. ^ "El fin del Tren de las Sierras" Archived 2016-03-07 at the Wayback Machine, Todo Tren, 23 Apr 2002
  8. ^ "El tren de los $ 127 millones" on La Voz del Interior
  9. ^ "Tren de las Sierras" on Córdoba Turismo website
  10. ^ "Inauguracion Tren de las Sierras" on Plataforma 14
  11. ^ "Mañana regresa el Tren de las Sierras", La Voz del Interior, 11 Aug 2007
  12. ^ "Tren de las Sierras", 16 Feb 2007
  13. ^ "Tren de las Sierras" on Tránsito Córdoba website
  14. ^ "Lo que faltaba: El Tren de las Sierras deja de usar la estación Alta Córdoba" on Crónica Ferroviaria, 7 Aug 2012
  15. ^ "Mañana Randazzo visitará la estación Alta Córdoba para recibir el tren que la unirá con Cosquín"
  16. ^ Resolución 1093/2013 - Boletín Oficial - Government of Argentina, 17 Sep 2013
  17. ^ "Randazzo recibió al Tren de las Sierras en Alta Córdoba", Cadena 3, 17 Mar 2015
  18. ^ "Se reactivó el Tren de las Sierras desde Alta Córdoba", La Mañana, 17 Mar 2015
  19. ^ "Randazzo recibió el tren que vuelve a unir Alta Córdoba con Cosquín", Ministerio del Interior y Trasporte, 17 Mar, 2015
  20. ^ From 2012 to 2015, Rodríguez del Busto was terminus.

External linksEdit