Venezuela's state controlled rail company Instituto de Ferrocarriles del Estado (IFE), has begun speed tests on the first 10km of the recently repaired Barquisimeto-Yaritagua rail line.
The upgrades have allowed trains to increase their speed from 40km/h to 100km/h, according to IFE president Franklin Perez Colina. Further tests to monitor trains traveling at 120km/h on the 34km line will be completed shortly, IFE reported on its website.
Some 54km of the 67.5km Yaritagua-Acarigua rail line linking Yaracuy and Portuguesa states have also been upgraded. The stretch will be completed in December, IFE said in a separate report.
Both stretches are part of the 174km Centro Occidental Simon Bolivar rail system, which links Puerto Cabello with Barquisimeto and Acarigua.
Currently, the railway is used only to transport cargo. Repairs and upgrades on the full rail system are scheduled to be completed by 2012, allowing the line to carry passengers.