• Passenger rail revival in Argentina?

  • Discussion about railroad topics everywhere outside of North America.
Discussion about railroad topics everywhere outside of North America.

Moderators: Komachi, David Benton

  by hsr_fan
 
I had read about Argentina's once extensive passenger rail system being completely eliminated during the privatization of the 1990's. However, I recently came across this website, showing numerous passenger routes throughout the country. Has there been a recent effort to rebuild the national network?

Here's a photo I located of the train from Buenos Aires to Tucuman (one of the longer routes shown on the map). While I've never been to South America, I'm curious about what types of railroads exist down there. It would be nice if they had a train from Buenos Aires to Santiago, connecting with Chile's 140 km/hr (87 mph) electric TerraSur trains.
  by george matthews
 
hsr_fan wrote:I had read about Argentina's once extensive passenger rail system being completely eliminated during the privatization of the 1990's. However, I recently came across this website, showing numerous passenger routes throughout the country. Has there been a recent effort to rebuild the national network?

Here's a photo I located of the train from Buenos Aires to Tucuman (one of the longer routes shown on the map). While I've never been to South America, I'm curious about what types of railroads exist down there. It would be nice if they had a train from Buenos Aires to Santiago, connecting with Chile's 140 km/hr (87 mph) electric TerraSur trains.
I see that the route Paul Theroux took for the "Old Patagonian Express" is not now possible. The Bolivian frontier line to Tucuman is not shown. Also the line to Patagonia.
He saw the last of the former comprehensive system (in the 1970s, I suppose).

  by David Benton
 
I travelled from Bolivia as far south as Salta , Northern Argentina around 1988 . this was a time of high inflation in Argentina . The service was very run down , we arrived at the border in Bolivia , where we were left to wait for the Argentine train to turn up . it eventually did and departed late . the coaches were old but reasonably clean . the primary function of most local travellers seemed to be smuggling coca leaves into Aregentina .
( Senor , can i just leave this bag sitting beside you ? , sure South american prisons really sound appealing ) . Passengers were openly unscrewing seat backs and wall panels to hide leaves behind . When customs came through , it seemed to be a case of having to pay a bribe if caught , rahter than fines or imprisionment . Note that the coca leave as used by the local indians is to fight off hunger pangs and altitude sickness , its relatively harmless .
Anyway after the border games were over , we crept over the barren landscape . we were meant to arrive in the evening , but from memory we ended up arriving around midday the next day . we broke down not far from Salta , and sat there waiting for a replacement loco for hours .

a lack of time , the inflation rate actually making Argentina quite expensive , and my not so positive train experience ( bolivian train service was quite good ) , meant i abandoned my plans to follow in Paul Therouxs footsteps ( still apparently possible then according to the thomas cook overseas timetable ) , and head by bus across to Paraquay , to start heading north up through Brazil .