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The freight train that will be used to transport construction materials to the site of Mexico City's future international airport is set to start operations on April 1, 2017.
Erich Wetzel, general director of Ferrovalle, the company responsible for building the line, announced that construction works for the railway will begin in December of this year following a two-month delay due to a period of negotiations with local farmers, state news agency Notimex reported.
The rail line will cost 850mn pesos (US$41.6mn) and, given the delay, construction will have to be completed in record time, Wetzel said.
The line will be 9km long, 7km of which will run parallel to the Pirámides-Ecatepec highway, and it will connect Ferrovalle's line S to the site of the new airport. The builder, Ferrovalle, is owned by Kansas City Southern de Mexico, Ferromex, Ferrosur and Mexico's federal government.
A portion of the 850mn-peso investment was used to obtain the rights of way to build the rail line, and to build an overpass to avoid crossing the Lechería-Texcoco highway.
Six trains will be used to move between 97,000t to 200,000t of material per day to the airport site. Transport time from the collection centers to the delivery sites will be 90 minutes, without considering loading and unloading times.
Once complete, the operator of the new airport, GACM, will own the rail line. According to Wetzel, when the new airport starts operating the line could be used for move cargo to and from the cargo terminal that will be built as part of the project.
The airport is the second largest in the world currently under construction and requires an estimated investment of US$12.5bn. The first phase involves three runways with capacity to handle up to 50mn passengers a year. When complete, the airport will have six runways and capacity to handle 120mn passengers per year.