Bolivia: the Uyuni train cemetery

The trains arrived in Bolivia in 1889, as unequivocal symbols of progress. But time was responsible for rusting all this promising progress linked to the mining industry. The railway complex of Uyuni, a small town located in the Central Highlands of the State of Potosí, became over time and until today one of the most incredible train cemeteries in the world.
The silhouettes of the trains are shown dwarfed by the altiplano. But it seems that neither the wind nor the extreme temperatures of the place can kill them. The trains that were part of an industrial past in frank decline, have now become a tourist destination.


The trains abandoned to their fate in the desert highlands are unique pieces of industrial archeology from the 20th century. But also the place is incredible like many of the landscapes of Bolivia that seem to have been extracted from some planet yet to be discovered.

The town is practically isolated from the world, geographically speaking, but connected by train and unpaved roads with other towns and cities. Among its main attractions it has the surreal landscapes of the Salar de Uyuni, a desired destination for thousands of adventurers around the world. Although the area has not yet been very well scanned, in Google Earth you can see some details of the Trenes de Uyuni cemetery:


And to close a sentence that sums up the sensation of the place (Indymedia): «Visiting the train cemetery is like peeking into the attic of part of our history, a history that traveled by train and left more sorrows and winds than promised riches.»

An incredible gallery of images of Bolivia captured by three Russian tourists.
The Train Graveyard at Indymedia
Some images of the Uyuni train cemetery in Panoramio.