Metro operator TMB from Barcelona in Spain has been awarded a contract worth around $US 1.4m to carry out a prefeasibility study into the construction of an electrified freight network in Ecuador, South America. The planned route will linkkey industrial and mining centres with ports on the country’s Pacific coast.
According to TMB, the 10-month study will look at possibilities for a link between the mines of southeastern Ecuador with the port of Puerto Bolívar which will enable trains to carry bulk freight. The study will also examine the feasibility of establishing passenger services between major cities such as Guayaquil and the capital Quito.
At present the only railway in Ecuador is the 965km 1067mm-gauge line from San Lorenzo in the north the Cuenca and Guayaquil in the south. Most of the route is in a poor state of repair, unsuitable for carrying freight and with little or no regular traffic.