Stadler has become the first European manufacturer to sell locomotives in Bolivia, on concluding an agreement with the Bolivian rail operator FCA for the supply of the first three units of SALi locomotives.
Stadler and the Bolivian Ferroviaria Andina (Andean Railway) FCA have signed a contract for the supply of the first three state-of-the-art “SALi” (South American Light Loco) locomotives, designed specifically for the Latin American market. They will be developed and manufactured in their entirety at the facility owned by the Swiss company in Valencia, Spain.
The locomotives are of ultra-lightweight design and feature cutting-edge technology, to successfully face the challenges faced by operating on a meter-gauge track under conditions of great altitude (over 5000 meters above sea-level). They are capable of reaching a speed of 100km/h, combining a high-power output at great altitude with reduced fuel consumption.
Thanks to an optimal balance between traction, power, and speed, SALi is specially adapted for freight service. They also feature two acoustic and heat-insulated driver cabs to ensure comfort under extreme temperature conditions. The SALi design complies with all the safety and visibility requirements and is built in accordance with the latest trends and ergonomic criteria.
FCA provides integral freight and passenger transportation services on a railway network comprising 2,276 km. It crosses the western part of Bolivia, linking the departments of La Paz, Oruro, Cochabamba, Potosí and Chuquisaca, and providing international links with Chile (Arica and Antofagasta), Argentina (La Quiaca) and Peru (Puno).
A commitment to the “Bioceanic Corridor”
Stadler is specialized in the design of locomotives for international corridors. Like its predecessor, the Euro Dual in the Mediterranean Corridor, SALi, due to its design and performance, is destined to become the benchmark locomotive of the Bioceanic Rail Integration Corridor which, crossing Bolivia, will link the Peruvian port of Ilo (near Tacna) with the port of Santos, near Sao Paulo in Brazil. This mega-project, driven by President Evo Morales’ government, includes Uruguay, Paraguay and Argentina along the waterway of the Paraguay and Parana rivers.
For Iñigo Parra, Stadler´s Executive Vice President Division Spain, “this contract represents the crowning moment for many years of intense work carried out in the Latin American continent, which we believe has a great rail-oriented future. The progress of the rail freight, the connection by rail of the Pacific and Atlantic seaboards and the solving of the mobility challenges posed by the big cities will provide multiple opportunities in the railway sector for which Stadler has efficient solutions”.
In turn, Carlos Gill, a Ferroviaria Andina executive, stated: “This is another step forward towards the railway unification of Bolivian territory and the furtherance of opportunities for integration and trade, not only within Bolivia but also with its neighbouring countries and other parts of the world, by means of much more competitive and safer transportation.”