Friday, December 2, 2011

Ecuador by Train

Sibambe train station, Central SierraPerched up in the paramo, a high-elevation Andean grassland wilderness, the newly built Sibambe station symbolizes the renascence of Ecuador’s once-formidable railway that was blasted through the mountains in the early 20th century under notoriously harsh conditions.

The train route is named La Nariz del Diablo, or the “Devil’s Nose” for the shape of a massive wall of rock that stood in the way of the tracks, requiring engineers to carve a series of vertiginous zigzags during which many workers died.

So far this is a day-tourist railway only, but the government has plans to extend it and add sleeper cars by 2013.


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