Belgrano Cargas S.A. is a company which operates a 10,841 km (6,736 mi) 1,000 mm (3 ft 3 3⁄8 in) metre gauge gauge freight rail network in Argentina, built by the state-owned Ferrocarril Central Norte and the French-owned Ferrocarril Provincial de Santa Fe, which became part of Ferrocarril General Manuel Belgrano after railway nationisation in 1948.
The network extends through the provinces of Buenos Aires, Santa Fe, Córdoba, Mendoza, Santiago del Estero, San Juan, La Rioja, Catamarca, Tucumán, Chaco, Formosa, Salta and Jujuy, operates 120 locomotives and 3,500 railway cars, and employs 1,500 workers, whose jobs are guaranteed by the government. In 2007, it transported nearly one million tons of merchandise.
As part of a national railway privatisation plan, carried out under the presidency of Carlos Menem from 1999, a 30 year concession to operate the network was granted to the union of railway workers, Unión Ferroviario (51%), and Laguna Paiva (48%), an industrial cooperative, on 16 November 1999. The government retained a 1% golden share and the right to elect one director.
Following problems with the concession it was decided to reprivatise the network in 2004, with 79% of the company remaining in private hands, 20% going to the Unión Ferroviario and 1% retained by the state.
In 2013, the government nationalised the railway again.
- Belgrano Concession Signed, International Railway Journal, Sept. 1999.