San Martín Line (Buenos Aires)
San Martín Line
A train leaving Villa Devoto station.
|Service type||Commuter rail|
|Locale||Buenos Aires Province|
|Predecessor||Buenos Aires and Pacific Railway|
|Former operator(s)||Corredores Ferroviarios|
|Ridership||36 million (2013)|
|Distance travelled||70 km|
|Average journey time||75' |
|Class(es)||Standard class only|
|Track gauge||1,676 mm (5 ft 6 in)|
The San Martín line is a 70-kilometre (43 mi), 22-station commuter rail service in the metropolitan area of Buenos Aires, Argentina. The San Martín line operates from the city-centre terminus of Retiro railway station northwest to Doctor Cabred in Luján Partido along a broad gauge line built by the British-owned Buenos Aires and Pacific Railway.
The line is currently operated by State-owned company Operadora Ferroviaria Sociedad del Estado (SOFSE) after the Government of Argentina rescinded the contract with former operator Corredores Ferroviarios in March 2015.
The first line had been built and operated by the Buenos Aires and Pacific Railway, a British-owned company which original projects included a railway to connect Argentina and Chile but then the BAPR focused on getting access to Buenos Aires. When the Government of Argentina granted concession to build the line, the company extended opened a 100-km length Mercedes−Palermo.
On February 13, 1947, the Government of Argentina acquired the Buenos Aires and Pacific Railway, changing its name to Ferrocarril General San Martín one year later when the entire Argentine railway network nationalised by Juan Perón's administration.
During the 1960s the line was restructured, renewing its rolling stock. Therefore the steam locomotives of San Martín line were replaced by diesel ones. The old coaches made in wood were also replaced by new wagons manufactured in Fiat Ferroviaria (then Materfer) factory in Córdoba Province.
In 1978 a restructuring of the San Martín line was carried out by the de facto Government, so terminus was set in Pilar, Buenos Aires Province. From then on, Doctor Cabred (former terminus) and intermediate stop Manzanares were used for long-distance services exclusively.
With the privatization of the entire rail network led in the early 1990s by President Carlos Menem, Ferrocarriles Argentinos ceased to operate metropolitan services. A new State-owned transitional company, Ferrocarriles Metropolitanos S.A., was created to operate those services until they were privatised.
In spite of the large government subsidies received by TMS a serious decline in the standard of their rail services has led to the original concession being revoked and the service was took over by the consortium UGOFE.
With the line managed by UGOFE, several projects were announced to improve the San Martín line services, with an estimated 36 million passengers transported yearly and which has seen an annual increment of 15% in ridership. In 2008 the Government of Argentina announced that the electrification employing catenary of the whole system to be started in June 2008. The project also included a new maintenance yard, new tracks for the entire line and all level road crossings are to be eliminated, althought works were never carried out. In the mean time the new formations of 24 diesel-electric locomotives and 160 coaches that will arriving from China in the couple next years will be serving the line, and will eventually be adapted to electric current or to other networks once the new electrification project kicks in around 2014. Up to date, this electrification project has not yet started and there are no news about it.
On February 12, 2014, the operation of San Martín Line was granted to private company Corredores Ferroviarios. In April of the same year the San Martín line completed the modernisation of its entire fleet, putting into service 24 diesel locomotives and 160 coaches acquired from Chinese company CSR. The units had been brought in 2008 but they were unable to run so the stations had to modify their platforms for the new coaches. Once works were concluded, the Chinese trains made their debut in Argentina. A total of 17 trains with 7 wagons each were acquired to replace local trains by Materfer, a local manufacturer. The Materfer trains had been built in the 1960s and 1970s.
State-owned company Operadora Ferroviaria Sociedad del Estado took over Belgrano Sur and Roca (operated by Argentren) and Mitre and San Martín (operated by Corredores Ferroviarios) lines after the the Government of Argentina rescinded the contracts signed with both companies on March 2, 2015. The contract terms specified that the concession could be cancelled with no right to claim compensation. The agreements had been signed in February 2014, commiting Argentren and Corredores Ferroviarios to operate the lines.
- Ferrocarril General San Martín
- Operadora Ferroviaria Sociedad del Estado
- Rail transport in Argentina
- "El tren San Martín a nuevo", Página/12, 22 Apr 2014
- Horarios de trenes at Corredores Ferroviarios website, retrieved 21 March 2014
- Ramal Retiro-J.C.Paz-Dr.Cabred
- Rocha, Laura (2008). "Sólo habría mejoras en 2010". La Nación. Retrieved 2008-03-06. (Spanish)
- "Apuran la electrificación del ferrocarril San Martín" by Antonio Rossi, Clarín, 9 Apr 2008
- "Llega la electrificación a las vías del ferrocarril San Martín" on Pilar de Todos, 17 Jun 2008
- Dispondrán de más servicios de trenes entre Pilar y Retiro Retrieved on 17 June 2008 (Spanish)
- "Trenes: le dan a Roggio el Mitre y el San Martín y a Emepa, el Roca y el Belgrano Sur", La Nación, 12 Feb 2014
- "Las privadas volverán a operar la mayoría de las líneas ferroviarias", Clarín, 12 Feb 2014
- "Randazzo estrenó trenes, mientras los ex funcionarios declaraban", Clarín, 22 Apr 2014
- "Un ramal con trenes nuevos, no modernos" by Diego Cabot, La Nación, Apr 2014
- "Cómo son los nuevos trenes del San Martín", Clarín, 23 Apr 2014
- "Ya está lista la ley que prevé más control estatal sobre los trenes", Clarín, 5 Mar 2015
- "Estado rescindió contrato de trenes a privados y avisó que no pagará indemnizaciones", Ambito Financiero, 2 Mar 2015
- "Buenos Aires commuter routes renationalised", Railway Gazzette, 3 Mar 2015
- Resolution N° 171/2015 - Official Bulletin of Argentina
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