Elizabeth Briceño, President of INCOFER (Costa Rica)
Mafex: Which are the most relevant projects of INCOFER?
Elizabeth Briceño: The Government has two institutional priorities in the railway field. First, the purchase of metric gauge trains for the current track for the purpose of modernizing the fleet of eight to ten compositions. This project, called “Phase O”, is financed by a multilateral bank. The “Institutional Strengthening Law of INCOFER” was approved in 2016. The reform of our law allows us a special procurement regime through which, eventually, we could directly procure highly specialized railway services.
Mafex: Are there any additional plans?
E.B.: In the medium term, the national project priorities include the modernization of the system through an initiative called “TRP”. This is a fast double track passenger train, provided with a viaduct, and which would allow improving the current frequencies and the passenger flow. The TRP, with a budget amounting to 1700 million dollars (1,478 million Euros) will be the backbone of Costa Rica’s public transport in the “Greater Metropolitan Area”, which concentrates 54% of the population.
Mafex: How do you see the Spanish railway business structure?
E.B.: As a solution, because it is a power. Given the scale of these projects, there are two key aspects related to Spain: the close relationship with the Government and the language that unites us and breaks down barriers.
Mafex: What do you think about meetings like the Mafex Convention?
E.B: It was excellent. The Convention has given us the opportunity to get to know the industry even more and to see the possibility of carrying out these projects as soon as possible. We have approached the main manufacturers of trains of Europe. And also with the experts specialized in equipment required for operation: track switches, rails, services, etc.