Belgrano Norte Line (Buenos Aires)

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Ferrovias arg logo.svg
Belgrano Norte Line
Tren de grand bourg.jpg
A train in Grand Bourg station.
Overview
Service type Urban rail
Status Operating
Locale Buenos Aires Province
Predecessor Córdoba Central Railway
First service 1948; 66 years ago (1948)
Current operator(s) Ferrovías
Former operator(s) FEMESA
Website Official site
Route
Start Retiro
Stops 22
End Villa Rosa
Distance travelled 55 km
Average journey time 80 min
Service frequency 15 min
On-board services
Class(es) Standard class only
Baggage facilities Overhead racks
Technical
Track gauge 1,000 mm (3 ft 3 38 in)

The Belgrano Norte line is a commuter rail service in Buenos Aires, Argentina run by the private company Ferrovías since 1 April 1994. This service previously had been run by the state-owned Ferrocarril General Manuel Belgrano since nationalisation of the railways in 1948. Ferrovías forms part of the consortium UGOFE which operates other commuter rail services in Buenos Aires.

The Belgrano Norte line service operates from Retiro Station, in the centre of Buenos Aires, through the northern Buenos Aires suburbs to the town of Villa Rosa. The metre gauge line was built by the British-owned Córdoba Central Railway which was bought by the State in 1939 and was later integrated into Ferrocarril General Manuel Belgrano in 1948 when the entire Argentine railway network was nationalised.

There are a total of 22 stations along the company's 54 kilometre-long railway line and the journey along the entire length of the line takes roughly one hour and twenty minutes. During peak hours, trains run approximately every 8 minutes and an estimated 40 million passengers are transported each year.

History[edit]

The line was part of the Ferrocarril Central Córdoba, specifically the branch from the city of Rosario to Buenos Aires. The FCC then was merged to Ferrocarril General Belgrano when the line was privatized in 1948.

In 1903 the company was authorized to extend rails to Boulogne Sur Mer in Greater Buenos Aires and the works began three years later. In 1909 the line was finally open. The train departed from Rosario, finishing the travel in Villa Adelina, named in honour of Adelina Munro Drysdale, Railway General Manager's granddaughter. The train stopped in the other four stations then existing, Villa Rosa, Del Viso, Los Polvorines and Don Torcuato.

When the Argentine railways were privatized, the Government acquired Ganz diesel cars, replacing the old steam locomotives used until then.

In 1912 the line reached Retiro station. Other stations were opened such as Munro (named in memory of Duncan McKay Munro) and "Kilómetro 14", then named "Juan B. Justo" in commemoration of the former president of Argentina.

Between Juan B. Justo and Retiro the tracks crossed the Avenida Maipú of Vicente López Partido so a bridge was built. This bridge was named "Puente Saavedra". A short time after that, a new station, "Km. 12" was built near the bridge. In the 1920s this station was renamed "Aristóbulo del Valle".

The current Florida station was initially open as a simple stand. In 1913, when the San Martín Avenue was paved, a storage property of the Narciso Agüero & Cía company was established there. Due to that, the stand was named "Parada Agüero" for a time.

In 1931 the Juan B. Justo station changed to M.M. Padilla to avoid being confused with the station of the same name that belongs to the Ferrocarril Mitre's Retiro-Delta line, placed a few blocks from there. During the 1930s the "Km. 18" stand was established. Many names were proposed (Ader, Drysdale, La Tahona, amongst others) until the National Academy of History suggested "Carapachay", which was finally chosen in 1946.

Due to Ferrocarril Central Córdoba financial problems, the Government of Argentina took over the company operating the trains. In 1949 the line merged to recently created Ferrocarril General Belgrano. The train was operated by Ferrocarriles Argentinos under the name "Belgrano Norte" to distinguish it from Belgrano Sur line.

In 1965 a group of neighbours collected the money to built a new stand, named "Km. 42", then renamed "Manuel Alberti". The last station, Tierras Altas (in the km. 37) was inaugurated in 1990. In 1991, the state-owned company FEMESA temporarily took over the Belgrano Norte line (along with all the other suburban railway lines) until it was given in concession to private company Ferrovías in 1994, that has operated the line up to present days.

Gallery[edit]

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