At the end of 2021, Empresa de los Ferrocarriles del Estado (EFE), the Chilean national passenger rail operator, ordered six bimodal units from Chinese CRRC Sifang. Two units have already been delivered to Chile. Dynamic tests of these units have recently begun in order to keep the deadline of making these trains operational in the second half of 2023.
The remaining four new trains were also sent from the Chinese Port of Qingdao on 25 April 2023, sailing by ship to Chile. The fleet of six 4-car units will operate under a catenary system on the Santiago to Chillán route.
The combustion engines, installed in these units do not serve for bridging the non-electrified sections but for the events of failures in the electrical power system. On such an occasion, trains will be able to continue on their journeys. Each train, manufactured by CRRC Sifang, will accommodate 236 passengers and will reach a maximum speed of 160 km/h. They will cover the distance between Chillán and the capital Santiago in 3 hours and 40 minutes, which is 80 minutes shorter than current trains. EFE will offer six daily trains in each direction