Tunneling Through The Andes To Speed Global Trade

By Almudena Calatrava

In this computer generated image released by Bi-Oceanico Corridor, a train sits in the proposed Aconcagua Bi-Oceanico Corridor between Argentina and Chile. Two of South America's leading economies are neighbors but might as well be worlds apart, separated by a mountain wall with only one major land crossing that gets snowed in for up to two months every winter. An ambitious effort to build a private railway under Andean peaks aims to end the bottleneck. (AP Photo/Bi-Oceanico Corridor)

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) _ South American engineers are trying to tackle one of the continent’s greatest natural challenges: the towering Andes mountain chain that creates a costly physical barrier for nations ever-more-dependent on trade with Asia.

Instead of pushing cargo over a 10,500-foot (3,200-meter) pass that is often blocked by snow for weeks, they plan to build the longest tunnels in the Americas right through the mountains. That would make billions of dollars worth of Chinese electronics, Chilean wine, Argentine food and Brazilian cars cheaper and more competitive.

The proposed $3.5 billion private railway known as the Aconcagua Bi-Oceanic Corridor would link train and trucking hubs on both sides with a 127-mile-long (205-kilometer) railway, including twin 32-mile (52-kilometer) tunnels. Construction would take 10 years, but once completed, it could save millions of dollars and carve days off shipping times.

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Posted by on Nov 1st, 2012 and filed under News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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