The Train to the clouds
The Train to the clouds or “Tren a Las Nubes” as it is known in Spanish is one of the highest railways in the world. It is a testement of the Argentina of days gone past when the country was more open to outside help. The rail way was designed by the Engineer Maury and the parts and materials came from England and France.
The train now only runs a short distance between the town of San antonio de los Cobres and its iconic bridge the Pollvorillo.
We offer tours up to the station from which the train leaves as well as a number of different tours that can be combined with the train ride.
“The possibility of a railway in the area began to be explored as early as 1889, and numerous studies were carried out up until 1916 analysing the feasibility of the line given the steep gradients and harsh terrain. Construction of the railway officially started in 1921, with the intention of connecting the North of Argentina with Chile across the Andes. The La Polvorilla viaduct, the highest of the line, was finished on 7 November 1932.
The route was designed by American engineer Richard Maury,(who later died in Salta) and after whom one of the stations has been named. The complete railway was inaugurated on 20 February 1948, following numerous delays and complications and a 2-year period where work was paralyzed.
“The line got its name in the early 1960s after students filmed a trip on the Salta-Antofagasta railway from inside the train carriages, often showing the vapor from the then-steam locomotive which – together with the cold mountain air – formed large vapour plumes. The footage was later offered to the Clarín newspaper to make a documentary, which was subsequently called Tren a las Nubes (Train to the Clouds) because of the vapour clouds in the film. Ferrocarriles Argentinos (FA) later adopted the name to make it more appealing to tourists.It was not until 1972 began being officially used by tourists as a heritage railway.”
Quote taken from wikipedia.