La Trochita - Patagonia Express

La Trochita hechando humo

Video of La Trochita Patagonia Express

LA TROCHITA, also known as Patagonia Express, is a part of the remarkable history of Argentine Patagonia. It gave birth to many struggling little towns, the same that later greatly suffered during its decline. But even if nowadays this small steam train can't rival the modern means of transportation, it is very valuable from the historical, cultural, and technological point of views, and has been declared a National Historical Monument in Argentina. " LA TROCHITA ," a rolling museum you can board, bears witness to the effort and sacrifices of the early settlers of this rugged land, truly representing the "Spirit of the South."

A group of " La Trochita " fans -including people from Esquel and El Maitén- and former and current railroad workers, have formed the "Friends of La Trochita Association " - FLTA (in Spanish, Asociación de Amigos de La Trochita - AALT). This organisation strives to keep this railroad alive, and to reclaim and restore its equipment and infrastructure. The FLTA invites you to board the Old Patagonian Express, an excellent way you can contribute to these ends.

Reasons why is La Trochita / Patagonia Express a tourism attaction:

The 402 km covered by the line from Ingeniero Jacobacci to Esquel, a totally unusual distance for a 0.75 m narrow gauge branch. Even so, what we see today is only a small part of the original, unaccomplished Patagonian railways project.

Its original character has been kept largely unchanged, like virtually nowhere else in the world. Its legendary 1922 steam engines still pull the train, some of them being now regarded as unique pieces by their own manufacturers.

The train runs along the imposing landscape of the Andean foothills, where over 600 curves can have a surprise waiting just around the bend. And the many old stations and stops where the train must pause to refill its water tank, as the locomotives can consume water at a rate as high as 100 litres per km.

Paul Theroux's "The Old Patagonian Express" international success. The book was published in 1978, and it describes the author's train trip from Boston (U.S.) to Esquel, where he arrived on board of the venerable " La Trochita."

The great outcry caused by the federal government's decision to close down the line in 1992, which was avoided through the direct intervention of the Río Negro and Chubut provincial governments to preserve their heritage.

Map of La Trochita / Patagonia Express

Landscape seen from La Trochita

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