Government officials said that a 12-kilometer stretch of rail between Heredia and Río Segundo de Alajuela was going into service at 5:30 a.m. today.
The new rail section will be part of a pilot project that can carry a passenger from the Río Segundo to Heredia and to the Estación Atlántico in San José.
The line continues to the Universidad Latina in San Pedro.
Crews for the Instituto Costarricense de Ferrocarriles have been trying hard to get this section open because officials had promised to have the stretch in service by the end of the first half of 2016.
The rail expansion has not come without complaints. Passengers say the cars are overcrowded. And from time to time there are
derailments or a collision with a vehicle or a human.
One man was hit in Barrio Cuba Monday and dragged 50 meters by a train. He survived with head injuries. The accident happened when the man slipped on the rails and fell, said observers. There have been 11 persons hit by trains this year and three have died.
In addition, two units of the valley passenger line collided head-on.
One problem for the rail construction crews is that some individuals have intruded on the right-of-way. The next project is to continue the line to Alajuela Central.
Basically crews had to rebuild the line. The rail institute found out when it was opening up the San José Heredia line that all the ties and rails would have to be replaced. Now concrete ties are being used.