The commuting train will start operating a new route to Cartago this next September, three months before the expected December 2012 start, as announced in a press conference by Francisco Jiménez, head of Infrastructure Office.
One of the most demanding tasks was repairing the railroads from San Jose, San Pedro, Curridabat and Tres Rios, a labor that has advanced in a 70% since the promise made by President Laura Chinchilla to the “cartagineses” on September 2010, during the Independence celebration in the former capital of Costa Rica.
The trains will be imported from Spain, and will probably be similar to the ones used for the Heredia route that started operating two years ago. The purchase contract has been signed already with the provider. Six machines will start operating on September, and the total cost of the new route is $12 million, half of which was used for repairs and the other half for the trains, bought to the state company Feve from Spain.
It is expected that the train will reduce the commuting time between San Jose and Cartago, not just for bus commuters but also for drivers using their cars, due to the huge traffic congestion during the rush hours in weekdays, which make the travel time up to 30 minutes longer, especially because of jams in exits and accesses in the different areas crossed by the Florencio del Castillo highway.
Cartago will be the third province with a train route, after San Jose and Heredia were given the green light in the last 6 years. Once the route to Cartago starts operating, the upcoming city will be Alajuela, as promised by Chinchilla last year. The Alajuela train route would start operations next year. It’s currently in the design and financing stages, and works are expected to start later this year.