Roca Line

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This article is about the commuter rail line. For the national railway company, see General Roca Railway.
Roca Line
Trenes Argentinos Operadora Ferroviaria.png
Trenes del Roca.jpg
A CSR multiple unit at a garage, 2015.
Service type Commuter rail
Status Active
Locale Buenos Aires Province
Predecessor Great Southern Railway
First service 1948; 67 years ago (1948)
Current operator(s) Trenes Argentinos
Former operator(s) Argentren
Ridership 115,033,000 (2014) [1]
Website Official web
Start Constitución
Stops 70
End Ezeiza [a] / Cañuelas [b]
A. Korn [a]
La Plata [b]
Haedo [b] [c]
Track gauge 1,676 mm (5 ft 6 in)
Track owner(s) Government of Argentina

The Roca line is a 1,676 mm (5 ft 6 in) gauge commuter rail service in the city of Buenos Aires, Argentina, part of General Roca Railway network. The service is currently operated by State-owned company Trenes Argentinos, from the city-centre terminus of Constitución south to Alejandro Korn, Cañuelas, and La Plata, and west to Sarmiento Line's station Haedo. The intermediate stations connecting the different branch lines are Avellaneda, Bosques and Temperley.

The line consists of 198 kilometres of track (55 of which are electrified), 70 stations, 146 grade crossings, 907 daily services through its different branches, and carries half a million passengers daily, making it the longest and most used line of the Buenos Aires commuter rail network. Currently there are large electrification and infrastructure improvement works being undertaken on the line, with brand new electric multiple units entering service on 8 June 2015.[2]


A 1983 Toshiba EMU in Metropolitano livery (2002).
A train powered by an EMD GT22 Series locomotive near Claypole.

This line had previously been run by the state-owned company Ferrocarriles Argentinos since nationalisation of the Argentine railways in 1948. Branches from Constitución to Ezeiza and Glew were electrified and the entire fleet of trains renewed, acquiring multiple units by Japanese companies Nippon Sharyo, Kinki Sharyo, Tokyu Car, Kawasaki and Hitachi. The electrified rail system was opened to public in November, 1985.[3]

Ferrocarriles Argentinos operated the trains until 1991 when residual company FEMESA temporarily took over all the urban services prior to the privatisation of the network. After the Government of Carlos Menem privatised the urban railways services, the private company Metropolitano (TMR) took over Roca Line through concession.

Nevertheless, non-compliance with the terms and conditions (such as lack of investment and poor maintenance of the line, in spite of the large government subsidies received by Metropolitano) led the Government of Argentina to revoke the contract of concession in 2007.[4] The UGOFE consortium took over the service until 12 February 2014, when it was announced that the line would be granted to the local Emepa Group.[5][6] [7]

After the concession was revoked, a temporary consortium named "UGOFE", took over the Roca line.[8]

Several projects were announced to modernize the line and improve its service, setting as a priority the electrification of the whole system. Other projects included a new maintenance yard in the town of Tolosa in La Plata Partido, several new bridges and tunnels at road crossings and improved grade crossings, all new concrete sleepers and welded rail joints for the entire line, the remodeling of 50 stations and the purchase of 200 electric coaches of the latest technology.[9] Presently electrification of Avellaneda-Quilmes and Temperley-Bosques sections are under way.

Recent developments[edit]

In April 2013 the University train of La Plata service was opened, using railbuses built by the Argentine company TecnoTren.[10][11] In that same year, Argentine state-owned company SOFSE announced that brand new electric multiple unit trains had been acquired for the line's metropolitan services. The contract included 300 coaches for the Roca Line, among the new rolling stock purchased for other lines.[12][13][14]

The State-owned company Operadora Ferroviaria took over Roca Line (operated by Argentren) after the Government of Argentina rescinded the contracts signed with the company on 2 March 2015. The contract terms specified that the concession could be cancelled with no right to claim compensation.[15] The agreements had been signed in February 2014, committing Argentren and Corredores Ferroviarios to operate the lines.[16][17][18]

In March 2015, a total of 300 brand-new electric multiple units acquired to Chinese company CSR arrived in Argentina. The National Government announced that the new CSR EMUs would be put into service in June 2015,[19] what finally happened on 8th of that month.[20]

The line also reestablished services to Claypole (Constitución–Bosques–Gutiérrez branch) serving with the brand-new EMUs bought from China.[21][22] The service had previously been suspended in February 2014.[23]

There are currently ongoing electrification works on the line, most notably on the Buenos Aires - La Plata service which has received a USD 500 million investment from the state.[24] Other works on the line include the refurbishment of stations and the raising of platforms to match the height of the new CSR rolling stock, while the construction of new underpasses and other infrastructure improvements is due to reduce travel times by around 50%.[25][26]

Services operated[edit]

A Japanese EMU in Trenes Argentinos livery.
Start End Dist/Km. Type
Constitución Ezeiza 35 Electric
Claypole 30 Electric
Alejandro Korn 45 Electric
Bosques (via Berazategui) 30 Diesel
La Plata 60 Diesel
Ezeiza Cañuelas 35 Diesel
Temperley Gral. Alvear 230 Diesel
Bosques 10 Diesel
Haedo 10 Diesel
La Plata Policlínico [d] 4 Railcar


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Electric service.
  2. ^ a b c Diesel service.
  3. ^ Departs from Temperley station
  4. ^ Also known as the University train


  1. ^ Estadísticas del transporte ferroviario - Total 2014, CNRT website - Ministry of Transport
  2. ^ "Los nuevos trenes del Roca operarán desde el 8 de junio". TELAM (in Spanish). Retrieved 8 June 2015. 
  3. ^ "Los eléctricos japoneses del Roca" by Andrés J. Bilstein on Portal de Trenes, 20 Oct 2014
  4. ^ "Kirchner le quitó la concesión de trenes a Metropolitano", La Nación, 22 May 2007
  5. ^ "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
  6. ^ "Las privadas volverán a operar la mayoría de las líneas ferroviarias", Clarín, 12 Feb 2014
  7. ^ "El Gobierno estableció un nuevo régimen de operaciones de las líneas ferroviarias", Telam, 12 Feb 2014
  8. ^ Sanchéz, Nora (2007). "En abril arrancaría la etapa final de la electrificación del Roca". La Nación (in Spanish). Retrieved 2008-06-16. 
  9. ^ DyN (2008). "Electrificarán todos los ramales del Ferrocarril Roca". (in Spanish). Retrieved 2008-06-11. 
  10. ^ "TecnoTren: La verdad es que nos cuesta muy poca plata fabricarlo" - interview to Jorge Beritich, president of TecnoTren,
  11. ^ "Ya rueda el tren universitario", El Día, 26 Apr 2013
  12. ^ "Prometen nuevos vagones para el Roca" by Mariano Obarrio, La Nación, 24 May 2013
  13. ^ "Gobierno anunció la compra de 300 vagones para el Roca" by Liliana Franco, Ambito Financiero, 23 May 2013
  14. ^ "Preparan otra megacompra directa de trenes a China", Clarín, 5 May 2013
  15. ^ "Ya está lista la ley que prevé más control estatal sobre los trenes", Clarín, 5 Mar 2015
  16. ^ "Estado rescindió contrato de trenes a privados y avisó que no pagará indemnizaciones", Ambito Financiero, 2 Mar 2015
  17. ^ "Buenos Aires commuter routes renationalised", Railway Gazzette, 3 Mar 2015
  18. ^ Resolution N° 171/2015 - Official Bulletin of Argentina
  19. ^ "Trenes: CFK recibió 300 coches nuevos para renovar la línea Roca", BAE Negocios, 5 Mar 2015
  20. ^ "Ya corren los nuevos trenes 0 Km en el Roca", Crónica, 8 Jun 2015
  21. ^ "Reanudación de trenes eléctricos a Claypole", Diario Popular, 7 Jul 2015
  22. ^ Horarios Constitución-Claypole on SOSFE website
  23. ^ "Hasta marzo, problemas en el tren de Claypole a Constitución", Clarín, 23 Sep 2014
  24. ^ Avanza la obra de electrificación del Roca - EnElSubte, 18 June 2015.
  25. ^ Adjudicaron construcción de andenes provisorios en el ramal a La Plata - EnElSubte, 13 June 2015.
  26. ^ Randazzo, junto a los intendentes Ferraresi y Gutiérrez, recorrieron obras de electrificación y de Pasos Bajo Nivel de la Línea Roca - Ministerio del Interior y Transporte, 13 June 2015.

External links[edit]