A train graveyard


The railways brought development to Bolivia, and carried many of its natural riches away.

Silver from the Potosi mine was tracked out to Chilean ports, boated up to Cuba (through the Panama canal) and on to Spain in flotillas. About 20% stayed in Spain and the rest went on to Germany to pay off debts. It also helped the Spanish monarch was from the Austria-hungarian empire.

These days the train route to Chile is barely used and there are no passenger services. The tracks remain, curling off into the never ending desert, and the trains that used to ply them are gathered together in a train graveyard outside Uyuni. It’s a pretty eerie place. Great to clamber on the old engines; a health and safety hazard at home makes a tourist attraction in Bolivia.

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