Roca Line

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Roca Line
Trenes arg operac logo.png
Banfield station.jpeg
Service type Commuter rail
Status Active
Locale Buenos Aires Province
Predecessor BA Great Southern Railway
First service 1948; 69 years ago (1948)
Current operator(s) SOFSE
Former operator(s) Argentren
Ridership 115,033,000 (2014) [1]
Website Roca Line
Start Constitución
Stops 70
End Ezeiza [a] / Cañuelas [b]
A. Korn [a]
La Plata [b]
Haedo [b] [c]
Distance travelled 198km[2]
Track gauge 1,676 mm (5 ft 6 in)
Electrification 25kV overhead lines[3]
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-Ezeiza, and La Plata, and west to Sarmiento Line's station Haedo. The transfer stations between the branch lines are Avellaneda, Bosques, Berazategui 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.[4]


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.[5]

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.[6] 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.[7][8] [9]

After the concession was revoked, a temporary consortium named "UGOFE", took over the Roca line.[10]

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.[11] Presently electrification of Avellaneda-Quilmes and Temperley-Bosques sections are under way.

Recent developments[edit]

In recent years, there have been increased efforts to electrify the remaining parts of the line.

In April 2013 the University train of La Plata service was opened, using railbuses built by the Argentine company TecnoTren.[12][13] 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.[14][15][16]

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.[17] The agreements had been signed in February 2014, committing Argentren and Corredores Ferroviarios to operate the lines.[18][19][20]

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,[21] what finally happened on 8th of that month.[22]

The line also reestablished services to Claypole (Constitución–Bosques–Gutiérrez branch) serving with the brand-new EMUs bought from China.[23][24] The service had previously been suspended in February 2014.[25]

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,[26] 300 of which come from an Inter-American Development Bank loan.[27][28] 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%.[29][30]

On December 5, 2015, the electrified service between Constitución and Quilmes was presented, although the service was only opened next year, after the presidential elections, on 13 February.[31] On 13 June 2016, the Quilmes-Berazategui section began service.[32]

In March 2017, the first section of the electrified service was opened, joining Constitución with City Bell, covering almost 45km-length. The entire project includes to extend the electrified service to La Plata downtown.[33] The service

Services operated[edit]

A Japanese EMU in Trenes Argentinos livery.
Start End Dist/Km. Type
Constitución Ezeiza 35 Electric
Claypole [d] 30 Electric
Temperley - Bosques / Gutiérrez [e] 30 Diesel
Glew / Alejandro Korn [f] 45 Electric
Bosques (via Berazategui) 30 Diesel
City Bell 45 Electric
City Bell La Plata 15 Diesel
Ezeiza Cañuelas 35 Diesel
Temperley Gral. Alvear 230 Diesel
Haedo 10 Diesel
Claypole Bosques [g] 12 Diesel
Cañuelas S.M. del Monte 45 Diesel
Lobos 35 Diesel
La Plata Policlínico [h] 4 Railcar


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Electric service.
  2. ^ a b c Diesel service.
  3. ^ Departs from Temperley station
  4. ^ On Weekdays
  5. ^ on Weekends and non-working days
  6. ^ Trains continue to Alejandro Korn every 30 minutes, half of the services end at Glew.
  7. ^ On Weekdays
  8. ^ Also known as the University train


  1. ^ Estadísticas del transporte ferroviario - Total 2014, CNRT website - Ministry of Transport
  2. ^ Se llamó a licitación para electrificar 100 kilómetros de vías; los coches tendrán aire acondicionado - La Nacion, 12 March 2008.
  3. ^ Cristina llama a licitación para obras en el Ferrocarril Roca - Pagina/12, 11 March 2008.
  4. ^ "Los nuevos trenes del Roca operarán desde el 8 de junio". TELAM (in Spanish). Retrieved 8 June 2015. 
  5. ^ "Los eléctricos japoneses del Roca" by Andrés J. Bilstein on Portal de Trenes, 20 Oct 2014
  6. ^ "Kirchner le quitó la concesión de trenes a Metropolitano", La Nación, 22 May 2007
  7. ^ "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
  8. ^ "Las privadas volverán a operar la mayoría de las líneas ferroviarias", Clarín, 12 Feb 2014
  9. ^ "El Gobierno estableció un nuevo régimen de operaciones de las líneas ferroviarias", Telam, 12 Feb 2014
  10. ^ Sanchéz, Nora (2007). "En abril arrancaría la etapa final de la electrificación del Roca". La Nación (in Spanish). Retrieved 2008-06-16. 
  11. ^ DyN (2008). "Electrificarán todos los ramales del Ferrocarril Roca". (in Spanish). Retrieved 2008-06-11. 
  12. ^ "TecnoTren: La verdad es que nos cuesta muy poca plata fabricarlo" - interview to Jorge Beritich, president of TecnoTren,
  13. ^ "Ya rueda el tren universitario", El Día, 26 Apr 2013
  14. ^ "Prometen nuevos vagones para el Roca" by Mariano Obarrio, La Nación, 24 May 2013
  15. ^ "Gobierno anunció la compra de 300 vagones para el Roca" by Liliana Franco, Ambito Financiero, 23 May 2013
  16. ^ "Preparan otra megacompra directa de trenes a China", Clarín, 5 May 2013
  17. ^ "Ya está lista la ley que prevé más control estatal sobre los trenes", Clarín, 5 Mar 2015
  18. ^ "Estado rescindió contrato de trenes a privados y avisó que no pagará indemnizaciones", Ambito Financiero, 2 Mar 2015
  19. ^ "Buenos Aires commuter routes renationalised", Railway Gazette, 3 Mar 2015
  20. ^ Resolution N° 171/2015 - Official Bulletin of Argentina
  21. ^ "Trenes: CFK recibió 300 coches nuevos para renovar la línea Roca", BAE Negocios, 5 Mar 2015
  22. ^ "Ya corren los nuevos trenes 0 Km en el Roca", Crónica, 8 Jun 2015
  23. ^ "Reanudación de trenes eléctricos a Claypole", Diario Popular, 7 Jul 2015
  24. ^ Horarios Constitución-Claypole on SOSFE website
  25. ^ "Hasta marzo, problemas en el tren de Claypole a Constitución", Clarín, 23 Sep 2014
  26. ^ Avanza la obra de electrificación del Roca - EnElSubte, 18 June 2015.
  27. ^ "Mejora Integral Ferrocarril Roca". Unidad Ejecutora Central, Ministry of the Interior and Transport. Retrieved 2015-12-03. 
  28. ^ "AR-L1158 : Proyecto de Mejora Integral del Ferrocarril Gral Roca: Ramal Colnstitución - La Plata", Inter-American Development Bank
  29. ^ Adjudicaron construcción de andenes provisorios en el ramal a La Plata - EnElSubte, 13 June 2015.
  30. ^ 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.
  31. ^ Macri inauguró el tramo eléctrico del Roca en Quilmes y dijo que “el Estado tiene que ser inteligente” - Agencia Télam, 13 February 2016.
  32. ^ Mauricio Macri inauguró la extensión del tren eléctrico de la línea Roca a Berazategui - La Nación, 13 June 2015.
  33. ^ Desde hoy, el servicio eléctrico del tren Roca llegará hasta City Bell, Clarín, 11 Mar 2017

External links[edit]