Paraguay set to launch tenders for $300m rail scheme in Asunción

Paraguay’s Ministry of Public Works is planning to launch tenders for a $300m suburban railway, called the Cercanía line, that would run between the capital, Asunción, and the town of Ypacaraí, some 44km to the southeast.

The move follows the completion of a feasibility study for the Cercanía project carried out by the state-owned Korea Overseas Infrastructure and Urban Development Corporation.

The ministry is planning to procure the scheme as a public-private partnership, with a 30-year concession for the winning consortium.

The electrified line is intended to carry up to 120,000 commuters a day between seven stations at a speed of 30km/h. The first phase of the project will be built between the Central Station and Luque and will use land owned by the former Carlos Antonio López line.

Later phases would connect the line to other urban areas around Asunción, and would bring the investment up to around $400m.

Argentine news site La Nación notes: "This project will not only mean savings for the citizen who needs to travel to the capital, but also a significant decrease in the time taken, the mitigation of environmental damage caused by high traffic routes and other contributors of social value that make the initiative an emblematic project."

Planning for the line began in 2018, but was cancelled in September 2019, after six consortiums had presented bids to finance, build and operate it. The bidders included companies from Latin America, as well as Korea, Spain, France, Spain and Russia.

Image: A rendering of the Cercanía line (Ministry of Public Works)

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