The Peruvian government is preparing to build a 1,340-kilometer (832-mile) railroad linking the northern town of Piura with the southern Pisco-producing region of Ica. One of the largest infrastructure programs ever undertaken in the country, the railroad will cost the government about US$9.5 billion.
The railway line, designed to run along the country’s Pacific coast, will ease the movement of people and goods between the country’s major cities and towns, including Lima, Ica, Ancash, La Libertad, Lambayeque and Piura.
Popular tourist destinations in and around Piura, Chiclayo and Trujillo will also be greatly benefited, local newspapers say.
Peru is currently embarking on a series of infrastructure programs, including the Metro Train system that will connect the central Andean cities of Huancayo and Huancavelica with the capital Lima.
The Andean country, chosen to host 2019 Pan American Games, is spending about 6% of its GDP on infrastructure development.
Peru’s existing railway network is small and insufficient. Analysts say the mountainous terrain with huge boulders in the interior parts of the country has made building railroads a gigantic task. Several railroads built during the colonial era have long been closed due to a variety of reasons, including a lack of funds.
Now the country’s Transport Minister, José Gallardo, says the construction of new railroads is essential to stimulate economic growth in the interior of the country.
“The Coast Train project is a modern infrastructure project that we are going to have in the future and we will work to make it a reality because demand for transportation for the people and freight on the coast forces us to take this step,” Gallardo said in a statement posted on the ministry website.