Línea San Martín (Buenos Aires)

Línea San Martín (Buenos Aires)

The Línea San Martín (in English: San Martín Line) is a 55 Kilometre,19 station commuter rail service in the metropolitan area of Buenos Aires, Argentina run by the private company Transportes Metropolitanos General San Martín S.A. (TMS), a subsidiary of Metropolitano, between 1 April 1994 and 7 January 2005. This service had previously been run by the state-owned Ferrocarril General San Martín since nationalisation of the railways in 1948.

The Línea San Martín operates from the city-centre terminus of Estación Retiro northwest to Pilar along a broad gauge line built by the British-owned Buenos Aires and Pacific Railway.

In spite of the large government subsidies received by TMS a serious decline in the standard of their rail services has led to the original concession being revoked and the service is now operated by the consortium UGOFE [cite web | author=Rocha, Laura| year=2008| title=Sólo habría mejoras en 2010 | work=La Nación | url=http://www.lanacion.com.ar/archivo/nota.asp?nota_id=980627&origen=relacionadas | accessdate=2008-03-06 (Spanish)] .

Nevertheless, the under-funded and overused San Martín rail line, with an estimated 36 million passengers transported yearly and which has seen an annual increment of 15% in ridership, has finally seen the light and major future improvements are on the way in the form of, electrification employing catenary of the whole system [ [http://www.clarin.com/diario/2008/04/09/elpais/p-01504.htm Apuran la electrificación del ferrocarril San Martín ] Retrieved on 17 June 2008 (Spanish)] [ [http://www.pilardetodos.com.ar/20080301/ferrocarril.html Llega la electrificación a las vías del ferrocarril San Martín] Retrieved on 17 June 2008 (Spanish)] , a new maintenance yard, new track for the entire line and all level road crossings are to be eliminated, the project is to be started by mid 2008 and will continue for six years. In the mean time the new formations of 24 diesel-electric locomotives and 160 coaches that will arriving fron China in the couple next years will be serving the line, [ [http://www.pilardetodos.com.ar/20071013/trenessanmartin.html Dispondrán de más servicios de trenes entre Pilar y Retiro] Retrieved on 17 June 2008 (Spanish)] and will eventually be adapted to electric current or to other networks once the new electrification project kicks in around 2114.

Recently a new semi-fast service to Hurlingham powered by English Electric designed ex Portuguese Class 1401 locomotives has been introduced making use of the four tracks from Retirio station. [ [http://www.aquilanoticia.com/nota.asp?IDNoticia=6556 Semi rapido Retiro-Hurlingham] Retrieved on 12 June 2008 (Spanish)]


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