Servicios Ferroviarios Patagónico

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Tren Patagónico
Estación-Bariloche-FCGR.jpg
San Carlos de Bariloche station in 2011.
Overview
Service type Regional
Status Active
Locale Patagonia
Predecessor Argentine State Railway
First service 1934; 81 years ago (1934)
Current operator(s) Tren Patagónico S.A.
Former operator(s) Ferrocarriles Argentinos
Ridership 700 per service [1]
Website Official site
Route
Start Viedma
Stops 16
End S.C. de Bariloche
Distance travelled 821 km
Average journey time 17h 30'
Service frequency Once a week
On-board services
Class(es) Pullman, First
Technical
Track gauge 1,676 mm (5 ft 6 in)
Track owner(s) Río Negro Province

Servicios Ferroviarios Patagónico (SEFEPA) (in English: Patagonian Railway Services, commercially "Tren Patagónico S.A.") is a public company owned by the Argentine Province of Río Negro which operates a 821-km length 826-kilometre long (513 mi) 5 ft 6 in (1,676 mm) broad gauge railway line between Viedma and San Carlos de Bariloche.

The train also runs a shorter distance service from Ing. Jacobacci to Bariloche.[2]

History[edit]

A diesel train unit by Ganz Works running on the Viedma - San Carlos de Bariloche line, 1945.

The railway line was originally built and operated by Ferrocarriles Patagónicos, then becoming part of Argentine State Railway ("Ferrocarriles del Estado Argentino"). When the Government of Argentina leaded by President Juan Perón nationalised the French and English companies of Argentina in 1948, the line was took over by the Ferrocarril Roca, a division of State-owned company Ferrocarriles Argentinos.

With the increase in popularity of the line with tourists, it was decided to improve the image of the company by using the name Tren Patagónico.

As part of a railway privatisation carried out during the presidency of Carlos Menem from 1991, a concession to operate the line was granted to the Provincial government and later transferred to SEFEPA in September 1993. Apart from its popularity with tourists, the line provides a vital service for people living along its length. From Viedma the line serves regional cities such as San Antonio Oeste, Ministro Ramos Mexía, Ingeniero Jacobacci, Pilcaniyeu and San Carlos de Bariloche.[3]

After a time without service due to lack of diesel locomotives, the train was put into operation again in May 2014,[2] after the National Government signed an agreement with Río Negro in which the Nation committed to restart the service.[4]

In January 2015, the Government of Río Negro announced that $ 2,5 million would be invested in the modernization of the line. Works include the replacement of 12-km length rail tracks in order to avoid technical problems previously reported, such as derailments or tracks break off.[5] The Government considers the train an important source of income for the Province, having reached an 100% of occupation during the 2015 Summer season.[1]

References[edit]

External links[edit]