24 de Agosto del 2014
Ecuador's great train line reopens this summer – in pictures
Ecuador's great train line reopens this summer – in pictures

Ecuador en Medios Internacionales

edwin quito

Estados Unidos, West New York

New luxury steam trains will take passengers from Quito to the coast – on one of the most spectacular rail journeys in the world – following a multi-million pound project to restore Ecuador's historic railway

It's one of the most spectacular train journeys in the world and after more than four years of renovations, Ecuador's famous railway reopens this June. Dating back to the late 19th century, the line was all but closed following neglect and devastating landslides in the 1990s. The ambitious multi-million pound project will see trains running again from Quito, high in the Andes all the way to lowland Guayaquil on the Pacific coast, and connecting the Valley of the Volcanoes with the infamous Nariz del Diablo (Devil's Nose) - one of the steepest stretches of railway you're ever likely to experience.

t is hoped the project, costing around $280m (£185m), will be a major tourist draw to the country. As well as renovating hundreds of miles of track and many stations, beautifully restored 20th-century stream trains will run along key sections of the route.

Starting in the capital Quito, the train heads up to the historic town of Machachi. Views of Cotopaxi, one of the highest active volcanoes in the world, can be seen as you rumble towards the 'Valley of the Volcanoes' that takes passengers past a series of snow-capped peaks, including Cotopaxi, Pichincha, Corazón and Ilinizas. The train reaches its highest point at restored Urbina station (3,609m) and gets as near as you can by train to Chimborazo, the highest mountain in Ecuador – and due to its position on the equator, the closest mountain peak to the sun.

From Urbina the track gets even more hair-raising, as you travel towards the infamous Devil's Nose – where the track loops in a series of precipitous switchbacks on the rocky mountain face of Cóndor Puñuna (Condor Mountain). The engineering challenges in building this section earned it the nickname 'the most difficult railway in the world'.

The Devil's Nose is one of the few sections of the track that was kept open as much of the rest of the route fell into disrepair. It has long been popular with tourists, who would ride on the train roof for the best views.

Georgia Brown
The Guardian
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