Most scenic train rides

There are 8 replies in this Thread. The last Post () by Carlos.

  • We have taken only two of these trains, but reading this Lonely Planet list makes me want to pack a bag and get on the train.


    https://www.usatoday.com/story…rain-journeys/1574166002/


    Have any of you taken the old Patagonian Express, now called La Trochita because it is a narrow gauge railway? I would like to know whether it was as interesting as Paul Theroux’s book made it sound.


    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/La_Trochita

  • The "trochita" train was completed in 1945 apprximately and goes from San Antonio Oeste to Esquel, in the Province of Chubut. The widht of this train was the most small, only 0,75m. San Anonio Oeste has a wide track connection to BA and Bariloche (1,676 m)

    I think that nowadays it has not a permanent service, only they do the travel if there are enough passengers. It is very interesting, as it runs through a wide desert, tha real Patagonian landscape, cold and without green.

    When the wicked president Menem decided to close many branches of the old net made by the British, French and the State all came into oblivion, and many towns lost population. We had have the longest net of railways in all Latin America (41.000 Kms, about 30.000 miles).

    The worst thing is that nobody take care of the equipment and buildings of the abandoned stations, and that is the reason why we have no important railway museums. The installations were vandalized, as you may imagine.

    Paul Theroux wrote his book in the 1980's, when still were important railway services.

  • The result of the oblivion of the important net of railway communication in this country was the growing presence of trucks in the roads, and worst, the growing power of the Trade unionist of truck drivers like the unbearable Mr. Moyano. Freight costs have grown a lot because the use of trucks instead of wagon carriers in trains, and also a lavish misuse of energy.

    In the time of the English and French railways in Argentina, the freight incomes from the freight charges served to subsidize the passenger trains, and every normal citizen was able to afford the cost of travels to almost any part of the country.

    I remember have traveled in the good old days, from Buenos Aires to Cordoba, in a sleeping car with a restaurant where waiters were dressed in white coats, with gloves, and in silvered plate adn soup dishes, all made in Sheffield, England. The train departed from Retiro at 8:00 PM and arrived to Cordoba at 7:00 AM, so you alse were able to have breakfast as well.

    We used to say in that times that to travel by trains was the only civilized way of traveling.

    I am attaching some images of those trains. The current Mitre (at that time Ferrocarril Central Argentino) line had connection with the Bolivian railways, and you could travel to Lima, Peru.

  • how long did the ride to Lima take?

    Three complete days. One day to arrive to Bolivia, the other to cross the frontier and arrive to Salta, where the wide track of the FCCA (then Mitre line) arrived. And then 20 hours more to arrive to BA. This service was in function in 1951, as I can remember.

  • Three complete days. One day to arrive to Bolivia, the other to cross the frontier and arrive to Salta, where the wide track of the FCCA (then Mitre line) arrived. And then 20 hours more to arrive to BA. This service was in function in 1951, as I can remember.

    Then was this, also, one of the routes closed by the Menem gov’t?

  • Not exactly. The dismantling of our railways began in 1961, when Mr Acevedo was a minister of President Frondizi, just to prevent the deficit of our railways. What they did not considerer is that the deficit in the railways provided communication between many towns and avoided the high use of trucks, which are anti economical now (when oil is expensive) but not in those times.

    Menem did the worst blow to the railways, fueled by the truck industry which was eager to sell more trucks (Scania, Mercedes Benz, etc.).

    In other, super developed coutries like Germany, railways have deficit, but they accept this because if they wipe out the railways, it will grow the use of cars and trucks in their routes and the result would be much more worst.