SYSTRA is continuing to support Chile’s rail revival, working for the national operator EFE (Empresa de Ferrocarriles del Estado). In particular, this involves improving connections between the interior of the country and the capital, such as the modernisation of the Santiago-Chillán passenger line, in which our teams were involved until the end of 2022.
SYSTRA has been chosen to design a new maintenance workshop for the new fleet of trains on this line, in a consortium with the Chilean engineering company JEJ. The workshop will be built close to Chillán station in order to offer greater flexibility when repairing Chile’s regional trains.
The result will be optimised maintenance expenditure, a safer network and greater availability for passengers, as well as a new industrial activity for local development.
This new assignment for EFE is an excellent signal for SYSTRA. We are becoming one of their main partners for engineering studies and we are strengthening our presence in the country. The integration of our new colleagues from SYSTRA Subterra will also help us to continue our development in Chile.Hervé Laurain, Hispanic America Cluster Director
A comprehensive project for the renewal of a city
The future maintenance workshop is fully integrated into the project to revitalise the city centre, which also includes a new museum, a new urban park and renovated avenues and station. The attractiveness of this town of 160,000 inhabitants will be enhanced by the new workshop, which will not only make more trains available, but also faster trains to Santiago (3h40 min compared with 5h). These are major advantages in convincing the 250,000 or so annual passengers to adopt a more sustainable and more efficient form of mobility than buses, which take over 5 hours.
The studies carried out by our teams, and in particular by the modelling manager Mery Delgado, took into account the limited footprint of the workshop, the choice of a building that was aesthetically pleasing while keeping within the budget, and the need to fit into an urban area requiring optimum noise and vibration mitigation, thanks in particular to the team of experts Éric Augis and Walid Wasmine from SYSTRA France, based in Lyon. I would also like to thank SYSTRA Chile’s systems engineering team for their commitment.Felipe Silva, Project director, SYSTRA Chile
The teams were responsible for soil studies (topography, geotechnics, hydrology), preliminary and execution studies in BIM for the infrastructure and rail systems (track, power supply, signalling), workshop equipment and architecture, landscape integration, environmental impact management, functional and technical specifications, optimisation of construction and operating costs, and the workshop maintenance plan.
These studies were submitted at the end of 2022 for a construction tender currently being awarded by EFE.
Chile’s rail boom
In 2019, the Chilean authorities launched an ambitious plan: Chile sobre rieles, Chile on the rails, which intends to triple the country’s rail capacity by 2027. SYSTRA is involved in this project, which has been underway in Chile for several years:
- Completion of the Santiago-Melipilla line, with the installation of a new track to the south-west;
- The creation of the new Santiago-Batuco line in the north-west;
- Technical assistance for the construction of the Cerro Chepe tunnel for the Puente Ferrovioario project in the Rio Biobio, for the Concepcion-San Pedro de La Paz line;
- A comprehensive asset management audit of the entire network, carried out between 2018 and 2019, to assess the state of the infrastructure of the entire EFE network.
Experts from SYSTRA Chile and SYSTRA Subterra are continuing to support the development of the Santiago metro with the construction of line 7, systems studies for the extension of line 6 and preliminary studies for lines 8 and 9 for the operator Metro S.A., a long-standing client of the Group for over half a century.