Peru to award US$226mn central Andean railway in July

Friday, February 15, 2019

Peru's government announced a July bid round for the long-delayed Huancayo-Huancavelica railway upgrade, as President Martín Vizcarra seeks to modernize the Andean country's infrastructure.

Potential bidders have until June to pre-qualify for the US$226mn project, according to state investment promotion agency Proinversión. The 30-year public-private partnership (PPP) concession involves upgrading the existing railroad and train stations in addition to replacing ageing trains on the central Andean route.

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The railway line, known as the tren macho, will feature seven stations, 20 stops, 15 bridges and 38 tunnels, with seven return journeys run daily. It will also interconnect with the fourth stretch of the longitudinal Andean highway.

However, the transport and communications ministry will subsidize the concessionaire to ensure current ticket prices of 15-20 soles (US$5-6.65) are maintained for the route, which runs through one of the country's most impoverished areas, the agency's projects director Hernán Castañeda said.

"The population will keep paying what they're paying. It's going to be a social tariff," Castañeda said at a presentation in Lima. "The difference will be covered by the state."

The line is part of President Vizcarra's drive to rebuild Peru's railway network, much of which has fallen into disuse since the privatization of state railway company Enafer in the 1990s.