Heredia - San José Train At "Toda Maquina"
Only seven people rode the first train
leaving the Heredia station headed for San
José Monday morning, as the long awaited
commuter train service began operations.
However, within minutes of the beginning of
the service all four trains were in
operational instead of only the two that the
Instituto Costarricense de Ferrocarriles (Incofer)
- Costa Rican railway - had expected to run
for the first month.
However, the demand on the first day was so
great that the head of the Incofer, Miguel
Carabaguíaz, decided to get all four trains
running, at times two and three trains
leaving the station at the same time instead
of being spread out.
For now the train will provide service every
30 minutes during morning and afternoon
weekday rush hours, with service expanding
to every 15 minutes by the end of the month.
For many it was worth the ¢350 colones it
costs to ride the train that takes only 21
minutes between downtown Heredia and the
Estación de Atlantico, located diagonal to
the Parque Nacional, in San José.
The bus ride between Heredia and San José is
only a few colones less but takes up to two
and three times more time as traffic
congestion between Heredia and San José is
at an all time high.
The Incofer says it carried some 1.500
passengers yesterday morning.
The projection is to carry up to 5.000
For many the train is a novelty, some riding
a train for the first time in their lives.
Costa Ricans have been used to seeing train
tracks but very few have actually seen a
train running on those tracks and that was
the problem when the Pavas - San José
commuter train began running a couple of
years back, as accidents between trains and
vehicles were frequent.
The major cause of those accidents was the
result of vehicles stopping in traffic on
train tracks, or drivers trying to outrun
the train. In one minor fender bender, the
Pavas train collided with a vehicle as it
was leaving the station. In a more serious
accident, a woman tried to outrun the train
as it crossed La Sabana in front of
With the beginning of the Heredia train,
talk has resumed of reviving train service
to Alajuela and Cartago. Carabaguíaz
explained that analysis for those services
is underway, but it will be some time before
those tracks will be active again, mainly
due to lack of funding.
Foto: Jimmy Córdoba