San Jose Urban Rail Planned in Costa Rica

James Drews | 16th February 2017 | Share
San Jose Urban Rail Planned in Costa Rica

The Costa Rican government recently confirmed its intent to move forward with the development of a rail project in its capital, San Jose. Rail authority Incofer president, Guillermo Santana, has also announced the allocation of approximately $6.5 million as part of the 2016 budget to plan for the railroad.

According to Santana, Incofer plans to conduct a feasibility study for the development of the rail project. The goal of the project is to provide residents of the greater San Jose metro area with an integrated rail transit system running from east to west. When complete, the rail project will connect San Jose, Alajuela, and Cartago.

A preliminary study was conducted in 2013 by a Spanish engineering consulting firm for the purposes of determining the basic route for such a rail project, along with demand forecasts. In the fall of 2011, a bill was introduced to the Costa Rican parliament regarding the construction of a rail corridor. The bill included a new financing plan for Incofer, which would include a tax on petrol for the purpose of funding rail projects. The bill is still pending approval, and specific details regarding the development of the rail network have yet to be released.

Two years ago, Costa Rica undertook the restoration of suburban services along a line running between San Jose and Cartago. Despite efforts to modernize existing rail lines, the systems and equipment currently in use remain inadequate to meet future development goals, according to the 2011-2035 National Transport Plan. The NTP goes on to state that the rail network in Costa Rica remains in a precarious state. According to the NTP, some rail lines should have already been abandoned and removed long ago.
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