“Colombia works towards the revival of its railway corridors”

Sandra Rueda, Port and Rail Mode Manager of the Structuring Vice-presidency of the National Infrastructure Agency (ANI) of Colombia

Mafex Magazine: Colombia has embarked upon several plans to boost the railroad as a means of transportation. What is the role of ANI and what are its aims in this action programme?

Sandra Rueda: Currently, the country has 3,300 kilometres of railway track. Of this network, 51% is managed by of the ANI, amongst which two corridors are run as a tender concession and two corridors under early operation conditions, named La Dorada-Chiriguaná railway corridor that has influence in the municipalities of Santander, Antioquia, Cesar and Caldas, and the corridor between Bogota and Belencito which runs through the departments of Cundinamarca y Boyacá both are under state-run contracts.

It is precisely on these two corridors in which works are being performed at the present time on the reactivation of early operations, and their public restructuring is expected to embark upon the refurbishment process, while in the medium-term delivering as part of a concession their operation and maintenance.

Mafex Magazine: How have you planned the implementation of these projects?

Sandra Rueda: The revival of the railway mode in the country is one of the priorities in transport infrastructure. Rehabilitated railways and in conditions of operation are fundamental in the mission of reviving multimodalism.

Work is underway on several projects. For this reason, we have defined diverse criteria for their prioritisation in order to identify the projects to be dealt with, with the idea that it is the State that makes the public investments in infrastructure and can obtain the concession of operation and maintenance in the future.

The corridor that has been deemed of highest priority in the outset is Dorada-Chiriguaná.  We already have a consultant who commenced studies in June and along these lines, the aim is to move forward with the structuring to have the tender ending by 2020.

Mafex Magazine: What are your plans for passenger transport?

Sandra Rueda: From the regions, a boost has been given to commuter railway projects for passengers.

The first of these, the Regiotram, which is a tender that was issued in the second half of 2019. It is a system that will connect Bogotá with municipalities that comprise the Sabana de Occidente region, namely Funza, Mosquera, Madrid and Facatativá.

The tender, for a period of 26 years has a value of 3.43 million dollars, includes aspects such as financing, studies, designs, social and environmental management, implementation of construction works and the ANI workshop, adaptation and deviation repair, network interventions, operation, maintenance, partial reversal and infrastructure reversal.

The project will operate as a suburban train in suburban and rural areas and as a tram in urban areas on a route of approximately 40 kilometres.

Mafex Magazine: What will be the next step in order of priority?

Sandra Rueda: The next step, in terms of passenger transport will be the structuring of the Bogotá-Zipaquirá corridor, for which the structuring process was published in the month of the November 2019. The idea is to seek an alternative sustainable mobility for citizens. In the first stage, its analysis will be performed for the financial and social benefits that the project can bring, together with the viability of the investment.