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Newly Rehabilitated Freight-Rail Line from Chiriguana to La Dorada Passes Through Antioquia Newly Rehabilitated Freight-Rail Line from Chiriguana to La Dorada Passes Through Antioquia Source: ANI

ANI Touts Relaunch of Freight Railway Service Passing Through Antioquia

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Colombia’s Agencia Nacional de Infraestructura (ANI, the national infrastructure development agency) announced April 11 the successful relaunch of rail freight transport on a 522-kilometers-long line aiming to link Atlantic ports to the interior -- passing through Antioquia on the way.

ANI spent COP$212 billion (US$78 million) on the rail-line rehab project, aiming to cut freight costs between Atlantic ports and centers of industry in the Colombian interior.

Following the track upgrades, ANI this week organized a test shipment of 700 tonnes of steel and cement – first loaded at a rail-freight terminal in Chiriguaná in Cesar department, near Cartagena. Then, after passing through Cesar, Santander and Antioquia, the train made its final unloading at La Dorada in Caldas department, near Bogota.

“What we are demonstrating is that the train has the capacity to operate, to be competitive and is already moving cargo in a real way,” said ANI president Dimitri Zaninovich.

Test-run participants included the Ibines Férreo railway consortium and train operator Trencar.

Steel and cement shippers GyJ and Ultracem initially moved this cargo in highway trucks from the port of Barranquilla to the Chiriguaná rail transfer point. Then, following rail-freight arrival at La Dorada, this freight was to be transloaded to highway trucks bound for Ibague and Bogotá.

The new rail-freight option “is a reliable and safe means of transport, which reduces [air] pollution, is efficient in times and can move cargo in large volumes, while also complementing very well with other modes of transport such as road and river,” according to ANI.

However, the narrow-gauge railway infrastructure employed along this route would present problems for moving standard ocean containers. In addition, the rehabbed track doesn’t reach all the way to major ocean ports in Barranquilla and Cartagena, where much of Colombia’s nationwide containerized freight is now trans-shipped via highway trucks.

What’s more, a new “fourth generation” divided highway linking Medellin to Puerto Berrio, Antioquia -- near the newly rehabbed rail line -- has yet to be completed. Hence a future intermodal freight connection between the rehabbed rail line and the new highway linking Medellin to Puerto Berrio looks to be several years away.

Read 363 times Last modified on Last modified on April 11 2018

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Medellin Herald is a locally produced, English-language news and advisory service uniquely focused upon a more-mature audience of visitors, investors, conference and trade-show attendees, property buyers, expats, retirees, volunteers and nature lovers.

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