Study outlines ways of connecting airport to valley train line

A train stop at Juan Santamaría airport is a logical improvement, and students at Tecnológico de Costa Rica and a French university have outlined how this can be accomplished.

The feasibility study designates three locations where the airport line would intersect with the existing or planned valley line.

One is in Río Segundo, one is near Walmart near the airport and the third is near Hospital San Rafael in Alajuela.

The line to Alajuela is under construction and repair. The study compares the costs and advantages of each possibility.

The study was done with the approval of the Municipalidad de Alajuela , the airport concession holder Aeris, and the

Instituto Costarricense de Ferrocarriles, which runs the trains. The French university is Universidad Sciences Po Rennes.

French students Louis Gendrau and Pierre Audeguil were given credit for developing the study under the supervision of Tecnológico university professors Carlos Ugalde and Tomás Martínez.

The study suggests that a train connection would reduce the estimated 9,000 vehicles an hour that travel the General Cañas highway at peak times. Juan Santamaría handles 83 percent of the nation’s air traffic each year. That is about 3.4 million based on 2014 figures, said the study.

The plan suggests that the line might be in service by 2030. Opposition is sure to come from taxi drivers who charge $20 for the airport-San José run.

Graphic shows a proposed train overpass with the Autopista General Cañas below. The highway is expected to be expanded to four lanes in each direction before any train project is completed.

Graphic shows a proposed train overpass with the Autopista General Cañas below. The highway is expected to be expanded to four lanes in each direction before any train project is completed.

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