PeruRail - Peru


PeruRail is a railway operator working tourist, freight, and charter services in southern Peru. It was founded in 1999 by Peruvian entrepreneur Lorenzo Sousa Debarbieri and British company Sea Containers.

The main line between the port of
Matarani, Arequipa (the capital of this region is Peru's second largest city), Cusco and Puno on Lake Titicaca was formerly known as the Ferrocarril del Sur (Peru Southern Railway), and was for a time owned and operated by the ENAFER state company. It is the third highest railway in the world after the Qinghai–Tibet Railway to Tibet and the FCCA line from Lima to Huancayo.

Cusco, PeruRail provides passenger services on the 3 ft (914 mm) gauge Ferrocarril Santa Ana to Aguas Calientes, delivering tourists for Machu Picchu.

It operates in a 50/50 joint venture between Belmond and Peruvian Trains and Railways, owned by Lorenzo Sousa Debarbieri and son Renzo Sousa.Lorenzo Sousa Debarbieri is the chairman of the board of directors of the company.

PeruRail Routes

PeruRail's routes are divided into two sections; there are no tracks through Cusco.

The line between
Cusco and Machu Picchu - Ferrocarril Santa Ana - is a 3 ft (914 mm) narrow gauge line, which boasts a series of five switchbacks called locally 'El Zig-Zag', which enable the train to climb up the steep incline out of Cusco, before it can begin its descent to the Sacred Valley of the Incas and then continue down to Machu Picchu. However, this section of the route is currently suspended, and all trains to Machu Picchu leave from Poroy, just outside Cusco, instead.

From Poroy, the narrow-gauge line goes northwest to Ollantaytambo, where the branch from Urubamba joins, then on to
Machu Picchu station in Aguas Calientes. Tracks formerly continued into the jungle, but they were destroyed by recent flooding.

The 4 ft 8 1⁄2 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge network, formerly Ferrocarril del Sur, start at
Matarani port, go through Arequipa and enter Puno Region, where the line splits in two at Juliaca. The eastern branch goes to Puno, the western branch runs into Cusco.

At its highest point, La Raya Pass (14°28′59″S 70°59′20″W), the altitude is 4,313 m (14,150 ft). The train makes a stop in La Raya pass where there is an exquisite view over all the plains to the snowcapped mountains, and a beautiful old chapel, standing all alone in the middle of the Andean plateau.

There's no more passenger traffic between
Arequipa and Matarani, and it was also suspended on the Juliaca - Arequipa line for several years until May 2017 when the Belmond Andean Explorer was inaugurated.

PeruRail Passenger Transport

PeruRail Tourist Trains

Cusco - Aguas Calientes (Machu Picchu)

On the route from Cusco to Machu Picchu, PeruRail transports the vast majority of visitors and provides several different services.

Belmond Hiram Bingham Pullman, named after Machu Picchu's American discoverer, Hiram Bingham, is the most expensive service. It departs from Poroy at 9 a.m., later than other departures. Meals, guides, bus service and entrance to the ruins are included.

Other services include the Vistadome, provided by refurbished 1965-vintage German Ferrostaal railcars, with at-seat refreshments and large side and overhead windows allowing views of the mountainous terrain, and Expedition trains, which offer basic service in upholstered seats at a lower price. Snacks are sold and space is provided for backpacks, particularly for
Inca Trail hikers.

Cusco - Puno (Lake Titicaca) - Arequipa

The luxury sleeper train, Belmond Andean Explorer is operated from Cusco for a one-night journey to Puno, and a two-night three-day journey to Arequipa. Its carriages were formerly used on the Great South Pacific Express in Australia between 1999 and 2003, and brought to Peru in February 2016.

Until the inauguration of this service in May 2017, the name was featured by a first-class service day train, which was renamed to Titicaca Train. It has Pullman-style dining cars and an open-air observation bar car similar to
Hiram Bingham. This service provides a 10-hour trip from Cusco to Puno.

The interiors of its vehicles were designed by James Park & Associates, the same company who designed the elegant first-class cabins for Singapore Airlines. The actual work, however, was done in
Cusco by Cusquenian workers. After the refurbishment was completed, a traditional Andean ceremony, 'Pago a la Tierra' (payment to Mother Earth), was organised to 'bless' the train. A local shaman presided over the ceremony, which involved many traditional rites.

PeruRail Local Trains

Although not advertised, PeruRail also offers local trains equipped with wooden seats and that are available only to Peruvian nationals for a fraction of the price charged to tourists.

PeruRail Freight

PeruRail runs daily freight services between the port of Matarani, the city of Arequipa, and the Andean cities of Juliaca, Puno, and Cuzco. Under PeruRail's administration the tonnage transported increased from 460,000 tons during 1999, 573,000 tons in 2000 to 639,000 tons during 2001.

The main products transported by PeruRail are copper concentrates, fuel, wheat (for Peruvian and Bolivian consumption), coal, cement, soya flour from Bolivia, coffee, beer and non-alcoholic beverages.

Peru Rail transports copper concentrates for the most important mines in
Peru, Las Bambas, Cerro Verde and other important mining clients.

PeruRail Shipping

The car float Manco Capac operates across Lake Titicaca between PeruRail's railhead at Puno and the port of Guaqui in Bolivia. PeruRail also owns the former ferry SS Ollanta, which was launched on Lake Titicaca in 1931. SS Ollanta is now refurbished for tourist cruises and PeruRail has leased her out for charter work.

Read also our other many web pages on Peruvian Rail Transport:

Railways of Peru

Luxury Rail in Peru
Belmond Hiram Bingham - Peru
Belmond Andean Explorer – Peru
Ferrocarril Central Andino
Central Railroad of Peru
Huancayo-Huancavelica Railway
‘’El Tren Macho’’
Tourist Train To Huancayo

Tourism in Peru
Republic of Peru
Lima - Peru
Cusco - Peru
Transport in Peru
Rail Transport in Peru
History of Railroads in Peru
Luxury Railways of Peru
Plan your trip to Peru
Peru Plan Your Trip
Requirements for Entering Peru
Travelling to Peru - Getting to Peru

Peru Rail
Machu Picchu - Peru
Aguas Calientes - Peru
Sacred Valley of the Incas - Peru
Inca Trail to Machu Picchu
Cusco - Peru
The Inca Empire
Hiram Bingham III

Inca Rail
Machu Picchu - Peru
Aguas Calientes - Peru
Sacred Valley of the Incas - Peru
Inca Trail to Machu Picchu
Cusco - Peru
The Inca Empire
Hiram Bingham III

Ferrocarril Central Andino
Tourist Train To Huancayo

Callao – Peru
Lima - Peru
Huancayo - Peru
Cerro de Pasco - Peru

Huancayo-Huancavelica Railway
‘’El Tren Macho’’

Huancayo – Peru
Metro de Huancayo

Cusco - Peru
Lake Titicaca - Peru
Puno - Peru
Juliaca - Peru
Arequipa - Peru
Matarani - Peru

Central Railroad of Peru

Belmond Company
Belmond Hiram Bingham - Peru

Belmond Andean Explorer – Peru
Peruvian Highlands
Andean Plains and Islands of Discovery

Spirit of Peru Luxury Rail Tours
Spirit of the Andes
Spirit of the Water

Trans-Andean Railways
Railroad Development Corporation
Empresa Nacional de Ferrocarriles 
del Perú (Enafer)

Central Railroad of Peru

Great South Pacific Express -
The Nazca Lines - Peru
Nazca Lines - Peru
Colca Canyon
Lake Titicaca - Peru
SS Ollanta - Peru


*Luxury Rail in Peru:
Belmond Luxury Travel in Peru
Belmond Company
Luxury Travel in Peru
Belmond Andean Explorer
Luxury Rail Peru
Belmond Hiram Bingham
Luxury Rail Peru
''Peruvian Highlands''
Belmond Andean Explorer
''Andean Plains and Islands of Discovery''
Belmond Andean Explorer
’'Spirit of Peru’’
Peru Luxury Rail Tours
Andean Explorer
‘’Spirit of the Andes’’
Belmond Andean Explorer
’'Spirit of the Water’’
Belmond Andean Explorer
Belmond Miraflores Park
Belmond Palacio Nazarenas
Belmond Hotel Monasterio
Belmond Sanctuary Lodge
Machu PicchuPeru
Belmond Hotel Rio Sagrado
Sacred ValleyPeru
Belmond Hotel Las Casitas
Colca CanyonPeru

*Information on Peru:
Information on Peru Hotel Accomodation
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Visit Peru Guide
Lima Hotel Reservations
Visit Lima Guide
Cusco Hotel Reservations
Visit Cusco Guide
Machu Picchu Hotel Reservations
Visit Machu Picchu Guide
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Visit Nazca Lines Guide
Sacred Valley Hotel Reservations
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