Trans-Andean Railways

Trans-Andean Railways

The Trans-Andean railways provide rail transport over the Andes. Several are either planned, built, defunct, or waiting to be restored. They are listed here in order from north to south.

Colombian Railways

Feb 2011 - The Chinese Government plans to cooperate with Colombia in building a 220 km transcontinental railway which would link Colombia's Atlantic and Pacific coasts, according to a British newspaper.

Ecuador Trans-Andean Railway

Much of Ecuador's Trans-Andean Railway (a railway network that once ran from Guayaquil to Quito) has been rendered useless by natural disasters. Torrential rains from the 1982-83 and 1997-98 El Niño caused massive landslides that damaged the railway line. The network is operated by Empresa de Ferrocarriles Ecuatorianos. Only three sections remain operational: a 37-mile (59.5 km) segment connecting Quito and Cotopaxi National Park, a 27-mile (43.5 km) stretch between Ibarra and Primer Paso, and the mountainous five-hour, 62-mile (99.8 km) excursion from Riobamba to Sibambe.


Although wholly within Peru, the Ferrocarril Central Andino (FCCA) (the former Ferrocarril Central del Perú) running inland from Callao and Lima crosses the Andes watershed at Galera en route to La Oroya and Huancayo. From here the route is extended by the Ferrocarril Huancayo - Huancavelica. In July 2006 FCCA began work to regauge the Huancavelica line from 3 ft (914 mm) to 4 ft 8 1⁄2 in (1,435 mm) (standard gauge). There was also a proposal for a 21 km (13 mi) tunnel under the Andes.

The Ferrocarriles del Sur del Perú (FCS), now operated by
PeruRail, runs from the coast at Matarani to Cuzco, and to Puno on Lake Titicaca from where steamers and train ferries have been run connecting with Guaqui in Bolivia.

Proposed Bolivia-Chile Trans-Andean Railway

Empresa Nacional de Ferrocarriles - ENFE, operator of the National Railways of Bolivia, and consultant Hagler Bailly, United States, have signed a contract to undertake an economic feasibility study into the proposed $US 1 billion 338 km Aiquile–Santa Cruz Railway (IRJ July p6). The line would connect the Eastern Railway network with the Andean Railway network, and effectively create a new trans-Andean railway from Pacific Ocean ports in Chile to the port of Santos in Brazil.

Other Bolivia-Chile railways:

Ferrocarril de Antofagasta a Bolivia
Arica–La Paz railway, Arica, Chile–La Paz
Peru - Brazil Railway

In 2014, proposals were advanced by ProInversión for the above railway.

Ucayali - western Brazil
Huánuco -
Pasco - Peru
San Martin - Peru
Amazonas - Brazil
Cajamarca - Peru
Piura - Peru - near Pacific coast in north
Argentina - Chile
(from North)

Salta-Antofagasta Railway

The Huaytiquina railway is a single 1,000 mm (3 ft 3 3⁄8 in) gauge linking Salta, Argentina, to Antofagasta, Chile. The Tren a las Nubes is a touristic service running for 217 kilometres (135 mi) on the Argentinian side.

Transandine Railway

The central Transandine Railway from Valparaíso, Chile, to Mendoza, Argentina is defunct, pending reconstruction. While Chile and large parts of Argentina both use the same 1,676 mm (5 ft 6 in) gauge, the connecting Ferrocarril Trasandino Los Andes - Mendoza used a narrow gauge of 1,000 mm (3 ft 3 3⁄8 in) with rack railway sections. Thus there are two break-of-gauge stations, one at Los Andes, Chile and the other at Mendoza.

In 2009, a deal was signed to build a 1,676 mm (5 ft 6 in), single gauge, base tunnel connecting Chile and Argentina

South Trans-Andean Railway

from Lonquimay (Chile) to Zapala (Argentina) – construction abandoned. 220 kilometres (140 mi) line once again proposed in 2005 and work underway at Chilean end in 2005; first stage completed by early 2006. Possible break-of-gauge and rack railway.
from Osorno, Chile to Bariloche – never built.

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

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Lake Titicaca - Peru
Puno - Peru
Juliaca - Peru
Arequipa - Peru
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Central Railroad of Peru

Belmond Company
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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:
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Colca CanyonPeru

*Information on Peru:
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