WASHINGTON D.C., June 1, 2022 – The World Bank Board of Directors approved a US$ 600 million loan to improve the infrastructure and service of the Belgrano Sur railway line, giving two million people access to improved public transportation.
"This project is a very important milestone in the path that President Alberto Fernández is leading us, with which we are modernizing our passenger rail transport system. We are convinced that these investments will be a turning point for the residents of the south of the Metropolitan Area that has undoubtedly been postponed for many years," said Transportation Minister Alexis Guerrera.
The Buenos Aires-Belgrano Sur Passenger Railway Line Modernization Project seeks to improve user accessibility in an inclusive, safe and environmentally sustainable manner, providing quality public transport service to vulnerable populations living in heavily populated areas of Buenos Aires Metropolitan Area (La Matanza, Morón and Merlo).
“Strengthening investment in infrastructure is crucial for job creation. Modernizing Argentine railways entails improving accessibility to jobs and services, providing faster, more reliable, inclusive, safer and more sustainable transportation,” said Jordan Schwartz, World Bank Director for Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay.
The project will finance the electrification of the Belgrano Sur line, track renovation, improvement of stations and surrounding areas, and the construction of underpasses and pedestrian bridges, among other improvements.
To ensure universal accessibility, the project will install ramps and signage in stations to facilitate the accessibility of people with disabilities. It will also implement strategies for safe transport of women and LGBT+ groups by improving lighting in stations and their surroundings, installing security posts to report emergencies, and building gender offices in stations.
Additionally, the project promotes low-carbon transport by offering a fast and safe electric train service, thus discouraging the use of private vehicles, and by favoring the use of bicycles with the construction of bike parking. It will also adopt climate change-resilient infrastructure design standards for flood prevention and resistance to extreme temperatures and strong winds.
This financing strengthens the World Bank's investment in the rail transport sector in Buenos Aires following the approval of a US$ 347 million loan in 2021 to modernize the Mitre Line.
The financing for the Buenos Aires-Belgrano Sur Passenger Railway Line Modernization Project is a variable spread loan, with a 32-year maturity period and a grace period of seven years.
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