Work begins on $2.5bn metro line in Santiago, Chile

The metro’s dramatic backdrop (Ariel Cruz Pizarro/CC BY-SA 2.0)
Chilean president Sebastián Piñera has officially launched a $2.5bn project to add a line to the Santiago metro system.

Line 7 will run between the suburbs of Renca, on the northwestern outskirts of the capital, and Vitacura in the northeast. It will be 26km long, with 19 stations. When completed in 2027, it is expected to halve travel time across the north of the city and relieve pressure on the system’s Line 1.

The map of Santiago’s present metro, showing the lack of any lines in the northwest of the city (B1mbo/CC BY-SA 4.0)

Speaking at the inauguration ceremony, President Piñera said: “Line 7 is not only going to change the lives of those who directly benefit, the inhabitants of the communes it passes through, 1.3 million Chilean men and women, but it is also going to improve the quality of life of all the inhabitants of the city of Santiago.”

He added that this “gigantic effort” would generate 22,000 jobs, and in carbon cutting terms would be the equivalent of planting 55,000 trees.

The line, which will be entirely automatic, is being designed by French state-owned public transport company Systra, which is also supplying the rolling stock. The company, which has been active in the Chilean market for the past 50 years, also designed lines 3 and 6 of the metro.

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