By Zhang Lipeng in Beijing | CRRC | Updated: 03-May-2018
In the morning of April 23, local time in Argentina, CRRC Qingdao Sifang Co., Ltd. (“CRRC Qingdao Sifang”) entered into a contract worth USD 278 million in Buenos Aires with Argentina's Ministry of Transport, to provide 200 new intercity EMUs and accessories for the Roca Line. This is the third order for intercity EMUs won by CRRC Qingdao Sifang from Argentina.
Li Yongle - a deputy general manager of CRRC Qingdao Sifang and Guillermo Dietrich - the Minister of Argentina's Ministry of Transport signed the contract on behalf of both parties.
In 2013, in order to upgrade the commuter system in Buenos Aires by modernizing its aging infrastructure, Argentina's Ministry of Transport successively (through two successive orders) purchased a total of 709 intercity EMUs made by CRRC Qingdao Sifang for the replacement of aging ones from the Roca, Sarmiento and Mitre lines, and such orders are regarded as the orders in China with the most export of intercity EMUs. At present, all the carriages made by CRRC Qingdao Sifang have already been put into service, and 300 of them have been used for the Roca Line. This order for 200 new intercity EMUs and accessories is also for the Roca Line, and is part of the comprehensive passenger rail transport plan in Buenos Aires. After this purchase, the replacement of all aging subway cars of the Roca Line will be completed.
Currently, the intercity EMUs operated on the Roca Line feature three-car formation and four-car formation. After put into operation, the new EMUs will be mixed with the previous 300 ones, and the Roca Line intercity EMUs will be characterized in 8-car formation. After this purchase, the passenger capacity of the Roca Line will increase by 20%, and this could effectively meet the passenger transport demand of the Line. According to the plan, the new EMUs will be delivered from mid-2019.
As the capital of Argentina, Buenos Aires is a metropolis with a population of more than 10 million. There are more than 20 satellite cities around the main city, and the satellite cities and the main city are mainly connected by urban railway lines. The 709 carriages previously made by CRRC Qingdao Sifang have already been put into service on Buenos Aires' Roca, Sarmiento and Mitre lines, serving millions of Argentine people every day. These "CRRC-made" trains are designed with advanced technologies and complete facilities, and thus widely recognized by the Argentine government and people. Surveys show 97% Argentinian passengers are happy with the Chinese-produced locomotives, and thus more and more people there are starting to travel by train.
It is worth mentioning that two presidents of Argentina had personally inspected the project of export of intercity EMUs from CRRC Qingdao Sifang to Argentina.
On July 22, 2014, the first batch of intercity EMUs made by CRRC Qingdao Sifang was put into service in Buenos Aires, and Argentina’s then-president Christina attended the train launching ceremony.
On September 8, 2016, President Macri of Argentina (third from right) inspected the depot of the Roca Line and visited the project of export of intercity EMUs from CRRC Qingdao Sifang to Argentina.
The order for new EMUs for the Roca Line this time indicates that CRRC Qingdao Sifang has had a “repeat customer” in Argentina. This is another vital breakthrough in the Argentine market, and is of great significance for the future development of the South American market.
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