The Instituto Costarricense de Ferrocarriles (INCOFER) announces that after a three-month process of training the driving staff and testing the 8 new train units acquired from the company CRRC Quingdao Sifang Co, the equipment is ready for start-up gradual operation with passengers.
The executive president of INCOFER, Elizabeth Briceño, stated that “we are excited to see how the railway modernization is moving steadily in our country with the start-up of these new equipment, which represent the largest purchase in the last 40 years of INCOFER and the first time in the history of our country that new self-propelled equipment for passengers has been acquired ”.
This has been one of INCOFER’s key projects, included in the 2019-2023 Institutional Strategic Plan. It is a comprehensive project that includes the acquisition of 8 new trains, workshop equipment, spare parts, training, after-sales support for three years, with an investment of $ 32,659,122.82.
In addition, it contemplates an intervention plan on the railways, improvements in the platforms and stations and significant works in the San José Workshop, which will mean the modernization of passenger rail transport, giving a better quality of public transport to the thousands of users who use the train service.
“All the works and interventions carried out have been successfully completed, which allows INCOFER to begin the gradual commissioning of these new equipment,” said Briceño, noting that “seeing today all the works that we have carried out to complete this project fills us of pride and much more to announce its next start of operation ”, he exclaimed.
This project involved a series of important activities, which not only included market studies, the bid review and award process, technical meetings, scanning of the railway, preparation and approval of the equipment design, but during the last two years and despite pandemic conditions, significant progress was made in the following activities:
- Construction of the 16 DMU units.
- Preparation of technical documentation by the contractor.
- Acquisition of spare parts by the contractor.
- Pre-shipment visit in China by the INCOFER team.
- Delivery of Lot 1 and Lot 2.
- Arrival in Costa Rica of Lot 1 (8 DMU units), December 2020.
- Arrival in Costa Rica Lot 2 (8 DMU units), January 2021.
- Testing of the equipment to put it into operation, as well as training for the collaborators who will operate the equipment.
Since the arrival of the first batch of trains, there has been a technical team from the Operations Management that has been dedicated, together with the staff of the contractor company CRRC Sifang, to carry out and verify the performance in all areas of the trains, prior upon receipt and start of operation.
Part of the commitment with the start-up of these units, which is of utmost importance, is the acquisition for the central workshop in San José of a stock of spare parts that will be used in the preventive and ongoing maintenance of the units. Consequently, the staff of the institution was trained in the operation of the units.
Also, all the technical documentation has been received: plans, calculation reports, system manuals, operation manuals and maintenance manuals for all equipment.
The Executive President, Elizabeth Briceño, indicated that “in parallel to the acquisition of the new train units, work was being done on the improvement of the platforms and stations.”
He added that “in the last three years, a series of interventions have been carried out on the roads in front of the start-up of the new units at different points, which has meant a serious and responsible work of the entire INCOFER team, highly qualified personnel. committed, who works day by day with the objective of modernizing rail transport in our country and providing a better quality service to Costa Ricans ”.
Among the interventions carried out on the railroad, the following stand out: Quircot level crossing, Santa Rosa de Heredia level crossing, Bridge on National Route 27 La Sabana, Víquez Square Curve, Quircot Bridge, Second Avenue, corrective maintenance of lines and change of Patio Pacífico tracks , Quebrada Seca Bridge, Quebrada Cañas Bridge, San Rafael de Alajuela Level Crossing, San Pedro UCR Level Crossing and Tibás Level Crossing.
Technical characteristics of the new trains
Each of these trains has a length of 38 meters, high-tech German engines that pollute 90% less than current trains and a capacity of 372 passengers, air conditioning, preferential seats and space for two wheelchairs per unit.
In addition, they have an information system for the passenger, which includes data visualization through LED screens and sound warnings, as well as a double polycarbonate and glass window for greater resistance to impacts, aspects that will undoubtedly improve the travel experience. passengers in these new units, increasing comfort and quality of life.