Rail Cargo Upgrades Its StandardsBy Pedro Alcalá | Mon, 02/15/2021 - 13:12
SCT has announced the publication of four new official norms that will update the safety and efficiency standards of Mexico’s rail operations. These will come into effect by the end of June 2021. They establish new minimum requirements for rail line construction and installation quality control, including type of rail lines to be used in projects and materials for construction. These standards will make rail traffic at higher speeds safer, with less maintenance and downtime.
The new regulations were drafted and will be implemented by the Rail Transport Regulating Agency (ARTF), which has been working on updating the industry’s standards as part of its 2020 National Normalization Plan, which also calls for the allocation of funds for technological research and development in rail infrastructure, including air brake tests, wheel materials for passenger railcars and inspections of rail tankers carrying dangerous materials.
These upgrades complement what MBN reported back in November regarding the increasing statistical reliability of Mexico’s rail cargo system. “The security report we have presented includes a strong geostatistical analysis component that allows for a more precise and accurate localization of reported events. This allows us to better direct our resources to the regions that represent the bigger challenges. SCT and all ARTF concessionaires are invested in strengthening rail security and boosting operational efficiency. However, what really ensures a safe environment is our cooperation with all regional authorities,” said Alejandro Álvarez Reyes, head of ARTF.
2021 is shaping to be a good year for rail cargo growth. T21 reports that Kansas City Southern (KCS), one of the country’s largest rail players, will be investing US$118 million in Mexico in 2021. KCS has already announced the recent inauguration of its Santa Fe rail overpass into the Veracruz port, reports T21, which will greatly increase the speed and efficiency of cargo offboarding in what is one of Mexico’s busiest trade points.