Argentina nationalizes long-distance rail lines

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Monday, November 10, 2014

The Argentine federal government announced it will take over operations of passenger rail lines connecting Buenos Aires with the provinces Córdoba, La Pampa, Santa Fe and Tucumán.

"The goal of the national government is to once again provide a quality rail service to all Argentines," said interior and transport minister Florencio Randazzo, according to state news agency Télam.

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The lines had been operated by local private company Ferrocentral, which had taken over for defunct state rail operator Ferrocarriles Argentinos.

In May 2013, Argentina announced the expropriation of the Belgrano Cargas freight rail line, which was operated by concessionaire Soesa, establishing state company Belgrano y Logística (BCYLSA). It later announced a US$2.5bn plan to upgrade the line's equipment and infrastructure.

Randazzo, a potential 2015 presidential candidate for the ruling FPV party and tasked with developing 50-year transport strategy, said that railworks for lines to the provinces of Cordoba, Mendoza, Río Negro and Tucumán will be put out to tender soon.