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GVC consortium signs the construction of the Uruguay Central Railway

Grupo Vía Central consortium, led by Sacyr and with the collaboration of the Uruguayan companies Saceem and Berkes and the French company NGE, has signed the contract for the award of the Uruguay Central Railroad project. 

The work, promoted by the Uruguayan Ministry of Transport and Public Works, will include the renovation of 273 km of the railway that connects the city of Paso de los Toros with Montevideo port. 

Grupo Vía Central is responsible for financing, designing and construction over 36 months, and the renovation and maintenance for a period of 18 years of the project.

The construction budget for this project is over €735 million.

GVC has already completed the initial stage of the financial structuring with which it will develop the work. The funds will be provided by BID, CAF, CAFAM and other international private banks.

The first stage of the works includes the preparation of new cartography plans, soil tests and design adjustment. Then, the construction field offices will be installed, there will be two main ones, and the current road will be removed.

GVC’s representative, Alejandro Ruibal, stressed the importance for the consortium of participating in this historic milestone for Uruguay, which has not carried out major railway works like this one for decades. 

“Each of the companies of the consortium have the experience and professionalism necessary to carry out this work; we have outstanding human teams that will be essential to achieve the goal,” added Mr Ruibal.  

In addition to the route Paso de los Toros - Montevideo, GVC will operate on secondary roads, so that, a total of 340 kilometres of roads will be installed. The new layout is almost identical to the existing one, which facilitates its implementation and limits soil movements and the need for demolitions and expropriations. 

The new road will have a new signalling system with high safety features and will also modernise the existing level-crossings, in order to comply with current safety standards. 

As part of the project, the 25 stations and passenger stops will be renovated and the existing structures will be adapted to the current road.

At some points, the project forecasts the construction of new structures, mostly to eliminate points of interference between rail and road traffic. This is the case in particular of the construction of six trenches that allow separating road and train traffic by relocating one of the two to a lower level and keeping the other at ground level. 

An acoustic impact study will also be carried out in the layout on sensitive receptors, that is, education and health centres. In addition, acoustic screens will be installed in some points to maintain the sound levels within appropriate ranges. The new road improves the acoustic impact, thanks to the technology of continuous welded rails which replace traditional structures.