El Salvador plans first modern railway

Forward to the past: The port of Acajutla had its first railway in 1882 (US Navy photo/Public domain)
El Salvador plans to invest $700m in building its first modern railway to improve communication inside the country and with neighbouring states, local daily Diario El Salvador reports

Romeo Rodríguez, the minister for public works, said the 103km Pacific Train line would run from the port of Acajutla on the Pacific coast to the city of Sonsonate and the capital of San Salvador.

He said: “We are working on finalising the designs. The first section from Sonsonate to Acajutla is already there. We are working on the second section from Acajutla to the Sitio del Niño canton, in Opico. And work is also being done on the third section to San Salvador.”

When complete, the line will connect with lines in Guatemala and with the Mayan Train in Mexico.

The Government is also considering building a monorail in ​​San Salvador.

El Salvador has had a train network in the past. A line was built between Acajutla and Sonsonate in 1882 by the Salvador Railway Construction Company, a British concern.

In more recent times, a service has run between San Salvador and regional towns, but this was minimal and subject to suspension owing to crumbling infrastructure.

El Diario notes that the Central American states of Honduras, El Salvador and Nicaragua do not presently have freight or passenger trains, but are all contemplating railway construction.

The countries with train systems are Costa Rica, Panama, and Guatemala.

According to El Salvador’s latest Regional Master Plan for Mobility and Logistics, the rail corridor will be tied to port development.

Altogether, the plan envisages a regional investment of about $52bn in transport up to 2035.

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