Holdtrade Atlántico is  a joint venture between Holdtrade (UK) Ltd. of London and Iowa Pacific Holdings, LLC of Chicago, to provide rail freight services in Colombia in association with local partners. In 2017 OPL Carga, the largest Colombian logistics company, joined the founding partners. 

Capitalizing on the combined expertise of Holdtrade, Iowa Pacific and OPL Carga, Holdtrade Atlantico will provide rail transportation services over routes that ANI, Colombia’s National Infrastructure Agency, has brought back to service. Holdtrade Atlantico’s freight rail service will reduce transportation costs for Colombian producers, thus improving the competitive position of Colombian products on world markets. Cost efficient freight rail service also has the potential to reduce transportation costs for imported products, thus benefitting Colombian consumers. Rail transportation provides the additional advantages of being environmentally friendly and reducing highway truck traffic.


If you want to be up to date with the progress of our project please look our Press Releases section where we are constantly updating on the progress of our project.


Holdtrade Atlántico successfully operated a trial train roundtrip between Santa Marta and La Dorada. This was the first train service to La Dorada since 1998.

Holdtrade Atlántico

Company vision

Holdtrade Atlántico’s vision is to become Colombia’s first freight railway company. HA is convinced that agreement among the stakeholders is the only way to achieve wealth creation, within a framework of corporate social responsibility and strict compliance with the law. In the development of this premise, railway freight operations will be carried out in a complementary manner with other modes of transport to serve Colombian industry and international trade, which will be of benefit to shareholders, investors, financers, employees, customers and the nation in general.

About us

Holdtrade Atlántico’s role is that of the train operator, which is completely independent of the infrastructure administrator, the National Infrastructure Agency, which has granted a contract for administration and maintenance of the track and related infrastructure between Chiriguaná and La Dorada to Ferrocarriles del Norte de Colombia (Fenoco).



(Cargo generators)


Train Operators

(Freight haulers)

Loading Crane

Trans-load Facilities Operators

(Loading, unloading, storage and other freight logistics services)

Railway Tracks

Infrastructure Manager

(Maintenance, construction and management of substructure, ballast, sleepers, rails, accessories, switches, stations, towers and control centers)


(Railway Industry regulator, tariff policies, technical standards)


Train operations and infrastructure management were bundled together in Colombia until 1989 when these functions were split between STF and Ferrovias, respectively. The last commercial train between La Dorada and Santa Marta operated by STF was in 1998. Between 2006 and 2011 train operations grew exponentially in the segment granted under concession to Fenoco (Santa Marta to Chiriguana), and there were substantial infrastructure improvements. During the same period the unused track infrastructure between La Dorada and Chiriguana continue to deteriorate. In 2012 the government allocated resources to repair the track between La Dorada and Chiriguaná that allowed, after almost 20 years, the first commercial train to be run by Holdtrade Atlantico. A timeline of the key events of the railway is presented below:


Train Operations

(1869) First Railway built in Colombia

The Barranquilla – Sabanilla railway was built

(1954) Colombian National Railways formed

Colombian National Railways was a state-run entity in charge of all the network. It managed at its peak 3431 km of track

(1961) La Dorada – Santa Marta construction

The Colombian National Railways build the railway track joining the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans with the centre of Colombia

(1989) Ferrovias was incorporated

Ferrovias was a state-run company in charge of all the national railway network

(1999) Fenoco Concession

Concession Contract between Ferrovías (now ANI) and Fenoco, from Santa Marta to Medellin and Bogota, with a duration of 30 years

(2006) Government takes back the La Dorada-Chiriguana railway

The Colombian Government through a state-run entity INCO takes over the management of a big section of the railway track, including La Dorada – Chiriguana

(2013 Oct) Railway civil works Contract

Between ANI and UTFC from La Dorada and Chiriguaná for a value of approx. USD $ 53m, which ended on May 31, 2017

(2016 Nov) Findings and recommendations of Holdtrade Atlantico trial train were presented to the government

A set of infrastructure technical recommendations was presented by Holdtrade Atlantico to the Colombian government and included in the bidding terms

(2017 May) Railway civil works Contract

Between ANI and Ibines from La Dorada and Chiriguaná for a value of approx. USD $ 26m valid until Aug 2018. This will allow safe train operations

(1989) STF is incorporated

A Private – Public venture was set up to provide train operations. It went bankrupt due to the bad condition of the track

(1998) Last commercial train run

Last commercial train between Santa Marta and La Dorada was operated

(2000 March) Trains operations started in Fenoco

Coal haulage started between Chiriguaná and Santa Marta

(2013 Sep) Holdtrade Atlantico incorporated

Holdtrade Atlantico was launched in an event hosted by the Lord Mayor of London

(2016 Oct) Holdtrade Atlantico Trial train

First commercial train run between Santa and La Dorada after almost 20 years of no train service

(2017 Jun) Fenoco railway track use contract

Between Holdtrade Atlantico and Fenoco to allow Holdtrade Atlantico track access to the Fenoco Concession

(2017 Jun) ANI´s contractor railway track use contract

Between Holdtrade Atlantico and Ibines to allow Holdtrade Atlantico track access to the Central Railway

(2017 Dec) Train Operations permit

Granted to Holdtrade Atlantico by the Ministry of Transport for the commercial operation