Uruguay awards Amurrio Ferrocarril a contract for the supply of modern railway equipment

by | Jun 12, 2020 | Press releases

  • The company from Alava will manufacture more than a hundred turnouts for the strategic project ‘Ferrocarril Central’, which will link the center of the Latin American country with the port of Montevideo.
  • The awarding of this project reinforces AMUFER’s leadership in the sector by beating the two main world manufacturers in the bidding process.

Amurrio Ferrocarril y Equipos (AMUFER), a company from Alava specialized in the design, manufacture and installation of turnouts and crossings for all types of railroad layouts, has been awarded by the Consorcio Constructor del Ferrocarril Central a contract for the supply of modern railway equipment to equip the ‘Ferrocarril Central’ project, a strategic infrastructure work for the multimodal transport system and the most important railway junction carried out in recent years in the Latin American country.

Specifically, the company from Alava will manufacture 124 state-of-the-art turnouts on which the reform of 273 kilometers of railway line between the city of Paso de los Toros, in the center of the country, and the Port of Montevideo, in the south, will be based. AMUFER will help to ‘stitch’ in the coming months this strategic and ancient logistics artery, contributing all its knowledge and experience in the field of the most avant-garde track devices, which once installed will allow the circulation of freight trains at 80 kilometers per hour and 22.5 tons per axle.

The awarding of this contract confirms the company from Valle de Ayala as one of the main European manufacturers of turnouts and crossovers. Not in vain, in this international tender it has managed to beat the two world references in the sector.

“The awarding of this project represents an important milestone in our railway trajectory and reinforces the commitment to investment, technological R&D and internationalization that have historically marked AMUFER’s activity”, emphasized Jon de Lapatza, Managing Director of the company.

Production will start after the summer

The resulting contract will have an execution period of thirteen months and will come into force next October, when the first batch of ten units will leave the Amurrio plant, which currently employs 200 people, for the Latin American country. From then on, and with a similar cadence, the Alava-based company will complete its production until November 2021.

AMUFER will supply conventional turnouts, which in this case will have a length of 33 meters and will be manufactured in its Amurrio factory from rolled steel and with manganese steel crossings, that is, with the highest performance. These technological developments will also be subject to strict safety standards, which will include, among others, specific anti-vandalism elements.

In addition, and in order to guarantee the sustainability of these track devices over time, the number of components that make up each of the turnouts has been reduced by 30% this time, which will significantly minimize maintenance needs.

The integral reform contemplated by the ‘Ferrocarril Central’ project coincides in time with the arrival in Uruguay of one of the most outstanding foreign investments in the recent history of the country. The Finnish pulp giant UPM Metsä will invest US$ 4 billion in the city of Paso de los Toros for the construction of a plant with which it hopes to make a leap in competitiveness in the sector. Consequently, this new scenario will require the Uruguayan administration to face an unprecedented logistical challenge, in this case by rail, in order to meet the daily transport of pulp reels from the interior of the country to the port area of Montevideo. For this reason, the authorities have described this project as “transcendental” for the future of the country’s economy, providing it with first class railway equipment such as that of AMUFER.


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Amurrio Ferrocarril y Equipos (AMUFER)

AMUFER (Bilbao, 1880) is a family-owned company specialized in the design, production and manufacture of turnouts, crossovers and track devices of high technological content. In addition to its headquarters in Amurrio, the group has plants in Brazil and India, employing almost 700 people. On the international scene, it is one of the leaders in know-how and innovation of switches and crossings for all types of tracks. From high speed to special applications for mining or freight, including conventional railroads, streetcars and subways. It currently exports its products to more than 65 countries.




In Amurrio (Álava), June 22nd, 2020.