The first CRRC tram-train for Bogotá Regiotram. (CRRC)
The Regioptram de Occidente light rail project has been paused after Colombia’s National Authority for Environmental Licences has withheld permission for the scheme. 
In January 2020 China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation was awarded a 26-year design, build and operate contract for the 39.6km line linking the capital city with Facatativá and Cundinamarca in the Sabana Occidente region, with the aim of carrying passengers from 2024. CRRC is building 18 three-section tram-train vehicles, the first of which was delivered to Bogotá last December. 
A depot is being built at El Corzo, 5km from the outer terminus. Delays with compulsory purchase orders on properties had already pushed completion into 2026, but the current pause will create further delay. The environmental licence was refused because no detailed environmental study has been carried out and the effect on wetlands is unclear. There is no information on hazardous particles or potential noise pollution. 
Bogotá mayor Claudia Lopez said, ‘We are talking about a project worth CLP 3.6tr that is 100% electrified along a former rail corridor’. She urged the companies involved to respond quickly to the environmental demands so that work could resume. The line re-uses the track bed of the Bogotá La Savannah railway that was closed in 1990. 130 000 passengers/day are expected to use the tram-train with a six-minute peak headway and an end-to-end journey time of 55 minutes. 
The first CRRC tram-train for Bogotá Regiotram. (CRRC
The first CRRC tram-train for Bogotá Regiotram. (CRRC) 
A second tram-train project, Regiotram Norte, is in the pipeline linking `Bogotá with Zipaquirá but the documentation for this due to be available this year has still to be produced. This 47.5km line would be partly underground and partly on viaduct. The environmental delay on the first project means the consortium will have to revisit its plans. A third project, Regiotram Sur, has made little progress. 
Tagged as: Bogotá, CRRC
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