Uruguay's state-owned railway firm AFE will need an estimated US$400mn to complete an upgrade plan across its network, company VP Juan Silveira told BNamericas.
AFE aims to repair and upgrade the system's 1,650km of operative railways during President José Mujica's term, which ends in 2014.
One of the projects included in the plan is the repair of a network connecting capital Montevideo's port to fluvial ports Fray Bentos, Paysandú and Salto.
The company is also looking to refurbish rolling stock and purchase new wagons and locomotives.
The investment plan is likely to be covered by loans obtained by AFE and the central government, and through private investment, according to Silveira.
The planned improvements are designed to increase the average speed of cargo trains to 40km/h, AFE's general manager, José Nunes, told BNamericas recently. Poor conditions on the rail network currently force freight trains to travel at very low speeds.