Bolivia's trainsBolivia's trains

Bolivia's trains

Trains on the Altiplano :

News note:

Since the period after COVID, most travel trains in Bolivia have been suspended.
This article is therefore unfortunately no longer valid at this time.
We are nevertheless leaving this article online in the hope that these services will return,
However, no date has yet been set.

The Railway Company that operates on the Bolivian Altiplano is the result of an association between a private company and the Bolivian state, it runs both tourism and public service activities with trains at social rates. Widely used by Bolivians to go on vacation to Argentina, this train allows you to cross the altiplano enjoying the charm of train travel, with many amenities.  

Services Lines Departure :

Expreso del Sur : Oruro-Villazon : Tuesday / Friday
Expreso del Sur : Villazon-Oruro : Wednesday / Saturday
Wara Wara del Sur: Oruro-Villazon: Wednesday / Sunday
Turístico : El Alto - Guaqui :   2° Sunday of the month
Turístico: Guaqui - El Alto: 2nd Sunday of the month
Local : Uyuni - Avaroa : Monday / Thursday
Local : Avaroa - Uyuni :  Monday / Thursday
Bus - Carril : Cochabamba-Aiquile : Tuesday / Thursday / Saturday
Bus - Carril : Aiquile-Cochabamba : Wednesday / Friday / Sunday
Bus - Carril : Sucre-Potosí : Monday / Wednesday / Friday
Bus - Carril : Potosí-Sugar : Tuesday / Thursday / Saturday
Wara Wara del Sur : Villazon-Oruro : Monday / Thursday

Expreso del sur : The Expreso del sur train is the best among those offered by the company. It makes fewer stops between large stations and can offer two types of services. The train leaves earlier, in the afternoon, during the journey it is possible to observe the beautiful landscapes of the Altiplano. This train offers a bar/restaurant car with typical Bolivian and international dishes. 

Wara wara del sur: The Wara-Wara train, which in Aymara means "star of the south", offers a night service with several stops during the night. The train offers a bar/restaurant service. 

Local Trains: Local trains are used by people around Avaroa and Uyuni, these trains are also used for freight transport. 

Description of the tourist trains: Every second Sunday of the month, a tourist train leaves La Paz for Lake Titicaca, it offers en route visits to the archaeological sites of Tiwanaku, the remains of Kalasasaya and Akapana (two-hour stop), and then to the port of Guaqui on the shores of Lake Titicaca.   From this port it is possible to enjoy a boat ride or a visit to the war buildings of the Bolivian army. Departure around 8:00 a.m. return around 06:20 p.m. 

Bus-carril trains: To connect Andean communities and remote villages, the railway company has set up an ingenious system.  On a chassis of a train wagon has been adapted the body of a bus which makes it a very original hybrid vehicle. The advantage is that this means of transport is safer for passengers than the bus, because the roads are steep in the Andes mountain range, and it is more economical for the company, which can promote low fares with a social objective. This very original and social service has the disadvantage of being quite slow, taking about twice as long as the same trip by road, with many random stops along the way. 

Trains in the Bolivian East :

The railway company that operates in the Bolivian East is the result, just like the company of the altiplano, of an association between a private company and the Bolivian state. This train was initially created mainly for the export of goods to Brazil.  

Services Lines Departure :

Regional : Santa cruz / Quijarro : From Monday to Saturday at 11:45 am
Oriental Expreso: Santa cruz / Quijarro: Monday / Wednesday / Friday at 4:00 pm
Ferrobus: Santa cruz / Quijarro: Tuesday / Thursday / Sunday at 6:30pm
Regional : Quijarro / Santa cruz : From Monday to Saturday at 11:00 am 
Oriental Expreso: Quijarro / Santa cruz: Tuesday / Thursday / Sunday at 4:00 pm
Ferrobus: Quijarro / Santa cruz: Monday / Wednesday / Friday at 6:30pm
Mixto : Santa cruz / Yacuiba : Thursday at 3:30 pm
Mixto : Yacuiba / Santa cruz : Friday at 5:00 pm  

Description of the regional train: This is the most basic service, which has two classes. The first and second class. 

Eastern Expreso: The train with intermediate services has two classes: The Súper Pullman class and the first class. The train has a dining car with service on board. All carriages have televisions, reading lights and toilets.  

Ferrobus: This train has the best services and comfort levels in the region, with reclining seats.

Train mixto: This train that connects the Bolivian East with the North of Argentina is an intermediate service train with the possibility to choose between 3 classes (Pullman, first and second class). 

Observations: For those who love train travel, Peru and Bolivia have the specificity of having railway lines that reflect the nostalgic travels of the beginning of the century, in sumptuous settings. 

Antipode can organize trips on this theme. Why is the train between Santa-Cruz de la sierra and the Brazilian border known as "el tren de la muerte" or train of death? El tren de la muerte or train of death in French is a line that connects Bolivia to Brazil, several hypotheses of its sinister nickname can be evoked : In the beginning the train was so full of merchandise that passengers were forced to climb on the roof to travel, with a high percentage of accidents (passengers falling off the roof). This train was also used to evacuate from the jungle people who were suffering from the deadly yellow fever, with a high mortality rate during the journey. This train is not only a journey but an experience in itself, crossing the Bolivian jungle, during the journey the train passes by several buildings such as bridges, viaducts. The strong roll associated with the tropical temperatures gives the trip a real experience, following the footsteps of the first explorers of these territories.  

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