Old Patagonian Express

Argentina - Rail Journeys Argentina

In southern Argentina at the heart of the picturesque Lake District, “La Trochita” is a narrow gauge steam train that has been lovingly restored and which originally ran between the pretty town of Esquel to Ingeniero Jacobacci via El Maiten, along some 402 km of track.

Immortalised in Paul Theroux’s classic travelogue “The Old Patagonian Express”, the railway was constructed in the 1920’s for the transportation of livestock and at one point was vital link in the service that connected Buenos Aires all the way through to the picturesque foothills of the southern Andes. Henschel steam engines were shipped over from Germany, Baldwin Locomotives from the US, both complemented with Belgian coaches and freight wagons that arrived in 1922.

Today, the service is patchy with sections operating sporadically between Esquel and Nahuel Pan and between El Maiten and Desvío Thomae. The train, however, retains its traditional character with jet black steam locomotives accompanied by elegant, wooden carriages and still attracts the commotion of bygone years. The whistle echoes around the hills and people throng to the station to wave off the train.

For more information on current timetable/services and how “La Trochita” might fit into your itinerary, please contact an Oasis travel consultant.

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