A tourist train will facilitate travel throughout the Valle del Cauca region in southern Colombia. This has been agreed between the government of the department, based in the city of Cali, and the Colombian national government, after a meeting between the regional governor, Dillian Francisca Toro, and the Minister of Transportation, William Camargo.
The future route will be 73.4 kilometers long. It will link the cities of Palmira, Jamundi, Yumbo and Cali, and is expected to carry 51 million passengers per year. The first section between Jamundi and Cali will be 23 kilometers long and will be connected to 21 stations of the Cali transportation system (MIO) and will reach the bus terminal. The system will have branches to the cities of Palmira and Yumbo.
Palmira-Buga, first section
As announced by the regional governor, Dillian Francisca Toro, the first section of this railway line will connect the cities of Palmira and Buga. The latter is an important tourist municipality, known especially for the Catholic basilica of the Señor de los Milagros. It is located in the east of the department, and the railway line will connect further south with Palmira, very close to the capital, Cali.
“The Tourist Train of Valle is a very good project that we want to start; we have to see clearly what we are going to do with the carriages and locomotives, because on February 15 the concession will deliver them. The idea is that we do it from Palmira to Buga initially,” said the governor at the end of the meeting with Minister Camargo.
This advanced project is in line with Colombia’s shared goal of recovering railroad transportation, which has been in disuse since the national railroad company went bankrupt more than thirty years ago.
“The governor has a great dream of rehabilitating and putting into operation a tourist train. We have made a visit where it has been established that we can have a first section between Palmira and Buga, and we are analyzing the section between Cali and Palmira, which will generate important conditions in the railway industry for the Pacific region and the development of tourism,” explained the Secretary of Infrastructure, Frank Ramirez.
National government participates in the project
For his part, the Minister of Transportation, William Camargo, endorses this project of President Gustavo Petro to recover the old railroad routes.
“From the ministry, we support initiatives to operate tourist trains with the rail network we already have.. We have already made a first pilot and we are going to extrapolate it to Valle del Cauca and the departments that have infrastructure that we can operate. Right now, we are recovering the assets of the liquidation of the Pacific concession to be able to operate long distance transportation,” stated Minister Camargo.