The presidents of Argentina and Chile have agreed to reopen a trans-Andean cargo and passenger train route that has been closed for several years.

Argentine President Nestor Kirchner and his Chilean counterpart, Michelle Bachelet, announced the plan Tuesday in the western Argentine province of Mendoza.

The move is aimed at reopening the railroad by 2010 as part of a $300-million project.

The railway was closed in the early 1980s after operating for more than 70 years.

The two presidents say its reopening is aimed at improving trade relations.

During their talks, Presidents Kirchner and Bachelet also discussed Argentina's natural gas exports to Chile.

Chile relies heavily on supplies from its South American neighbor.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.