CSR EMU (Argentina)

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Línea Mitre Retiro.jpg
ManufacturerCSR Corporation Limited
Built atCSR Sifang Co Ltd.
Entered service2014
Number under construction405 cars (third rail)
500 cars (overhead line)
Formation6 cars per trainset (Mitre)
9 cars per trainset (Sarmiento)
8 cars per trainset (Roca)
Capacity60 seats (control car)
72 seats (passenger car)
Operator(s)Trenes Argentinos
Line(s) servedMitre, Roca and Sarmiento
Car length22.67 m (74 ft 4 12 in) (control car)
21.8 m (71 ft 6 14 in) (passenger car)
Width3.10 m (10 ft 2 in)
Height3.79 m (12 ft 5 14 in)
Doors3 per side
Maximum speed120 km/h (75 mph)
Power output720 kW (970 hp) per car
Power supply800 V DC Third rail (Mitre and Sarmiento)
25 kV AC, 50 Hz Overhead line (Roca)
Track gauge1,676 mm (5 ft 6 in)

The CSR EMU is a series of electric multiple unit cars manufactured by CSR Corporation Limited for use on Buenos Aires' commuter rail network.[1] The trains operate on three of the city's lines as of 2015 and 705 cars were manufactured, with each line using a different number of cars per train. They were created for use on lines electrified using both third rail and overhead lines.


A Toshiba EMU on the Sarmiento Line before the purchase of the CSR trains.

By 2013, the rolling stock of Buenos Aires' commuter rail network was ageing and deteriorating rapidly. At the same time, high-profile accidents in Flores and Once in previous years had led the national government to revise the concession-based railway privatisation, which was largely blamed for the deterioration of the network.[2][3] The government thus decided to intervene, revoking concessions to companies such as Trenes de Buenos Aires and setting up Trenes Argentinos to manage the lines.[4][5]

This was followed by a series of rolling stock purchases from China CNR Corporation and CSR Corporation Limited (and later some Argentine companies) to replace trains on both diesel and rail segments. For the electrified lines, CSR won the contract to provide the electric multiple units, and an order was placed in January 2013 for 405 cars for the Mitre and Sarmiento lines, with another order for 300 cars for the Roca Line signed in August of that same year.[6][7]

The acquisition of the CSR rolling stock was also accompanied by a series of works on all three lines, both to accommodate the new trains such as with the electrification of the Buenos Aires - La Plata segment on the Roca Line, but also general improvements.[8] On top of the emergency improvements undertaken following the Once Tragedy,[9] some of these improvements included the modernisation of stations, raising the height of platforms to match the new trains, incorporating train protection systems, creating new underpasses and rail infrastructure improvements, some of which were also undertaken by the City of Buenos Aires.[10][11][12] However, not all works were finished by the time the CSR EMUs arrived on their respective lines, and some works continued on while they were already functioning.[13]

A further 200 cars were purchased for the Roca Line in 2017 to replace the aging Toshiba EMUs which had exceeded their 30-year lifespan.[14]


Passengers aboard a Roca Line train.

The units were built at CSR's Qingdao factory, a large complex with 1,640,000 m2 of covered space.[15] The total cost for the 709 cars was $841 million, which also included R&D as well as shipping, or $1.09 million to $1.27 million per car depending on the line, which was noted as being significantly below market prices.[15] In 2014, CSR then purchased the Argentine rolling stock manufacturer Emprendimientos Ferroviarios, in part to establish a place in Argentina to maintain the trains once they were in operation.[16][17]

The trains have a series of features in line with modern rolling stock, such as ABS, air conditioning, CCTV, a train protection system and intelligent doors, while numerous compenents such as the brakes and traction system were sourced from countries such as Germany, Sweden and Japan.[18][19] There are very minor differences with the Roca Line trains, and the most major difference is the overhead collection which runs at a different voltage. The trains began to arrive in February 2014, just 13 months after the order was signed.[20]


A Mitre Line train at Rivadavia station.

The electric multiple units are used on all of Buenos Aires' electrified commuter rail lines, with the exception of the Urquiza Line which uses Japanese Toshiba EMUs.[21] The Belgrano Sur line had diesel multiple units with a similar appearance to the CSR electric multiple units purchased, which began arriving in the country in 2015.[22] The San Martín Line also saw new rolling stock from CSR, but in the form of CSR SDD7 diesel-electric locomotives, while the Belgrano Norte line has seen the incorporation of Argentine-built EMEPA DMUs.[23][24]

The Sarmiento Line was the first to begin operating the CSR trains in July 2014, followed by the Mitre Line and lastly the Roca Line.[11] In the case of the Mitre and Sarmiento lines, the CSR EMUs make up the entirety of the electric rolling stock, while diesel segments such as the Victoria - Capilla del Señor route on the Mitre Line are managed by Argentine-built Materfer CMM 400-2 DMUs.[25] The first Roca Line trains began arriving in 2015, continuing to arrive throughout the year, and began to be integrated in June of that year, however these will serve alongside the existing Toshiba rolling stock purchased in 1985 in this case.[26]

All the trains are operated by the state-owned Trenes Argentinos, which is now a part of the larger Ferrocarriles Argentinos umbrella company.[27]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Broad-gauge Suburban EMU Archived May 18, 2015, at the Wayback Machine - CSR Corporation Limited
  2. ^ "Finalmente, el Gobierno le sacó las concesiones del Sarmiento y del Mitre a TBA". Clarín.
  3. ^ "El gobierno nacional estatizó los ferrocarriles Sarmiento y Mitre", Infobae
  4. ^ "ALL concessions revoked". Railway Gazette International. Retrieved 30 June 2015.
  5. ^ "Nueva empresa estatal para el Belgrano Cargas", Página/12, 23 May 2013
  6. ^ Decreto 9/2013 - Ministerio del Interior, 10 January 2013.
  7. ^ Decisión Administrativa 584/2013 - Ministerio del Interior, 15 August 2013.
  8. ^ Adjudican la última parte de la electrificación del ferrocarril que une Constitución con La Plata - InfoBAE, 5 February 2015.
  9. ^ Arranca un plan de obras atrasadas en el tren Mitre - Clarin, 10 August 2012.
  10. ^ Randazzo anunció avances en la renovación del Mitre Archived 2014-02-28 at the Wayback Machine - Sala de Prensa de la Republica Argentina, 16 January 2014.
  11. ^ a b Comenzaron a funcionar seis de los nuevos trenes chinos del Sarmiento - Clarin, 21 July 2014
  12. ^ Obras que alivian la circulación, unen barrios y evitan accidentes - Buenos Aires Ciudad, 23 June 2015.
  13. ^ Los nuevos trenes del Roca arrancan el 8 de junio - EnElSubte, 22 May 2015.
  14. ^ "Compran 200 coches eléctricos adicionales para la línea Roca". enelSubte.com (in Spanish). 4 January 2018. Retrieved 15 January 2018.
  15. ^ a b Los trenes que se vienen desde China - Pagina/12, 23 September 2013.
  16. ^ Company Overview of Emprendimientos Ferroviarios S.A. Emfer S.A. - Bloomberg Business
  17. ^ CSR adquiere EMFER y desembarca en la Argentina - EnElSubte, 26 February 2014.
  18. ^ Randazzo expuso sobre la recuperación ferroviaria en Argentina. - Trenes Argentinosa Cargas y Logistica, 24 September 2014.
  19. ^ Los nuevos trenes de la línea Sarmiento comenzarán a funcionar el lunes - La Nacion, 16 July 2014.
  20. ^ Presentaron los nuevos vagones chinos de la línea Sarmiento - InfoBAE, 26 February 2014.
  21. ^ Historia - Metrovias
  22. ^ Presentaron los trenes 0 km de la línea Belgrano Sur: llegarán al país en junio - La Nacion, 20 April 2015.
  23. ^ Los nuevos trenes chinos en el San Martín - La Nacion, 26 October 2013.
  24. ^ Servicio diferencial en la Línea Belgrano Norte con coches motores "Alerce" - Crónica Ferroviaria, 26 March 2015
  25. ^ Incorporan nuevos trenes y servicios en el Victoria – Capilla - EnElSubte, 13 April 2015.
  26. ^ Avanza la obra de electrificación del Roca - EnElSubte, 18 June 2015.
  27. ^ Formalizan la estatización del San Martín, el Mitre y el Belgrano Sur - Diario Registrado, 2 March 2015.