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THE HISTORICAL HIGHEST TRAIN IN THE WORLD IS RUNNING AGAIN!

It was a cold morning, a gray day in Lima this last Tuesday 21st November 2006 when I attended the official opening of the new services of the Central Andes Train.During the last 15 years I have witnessed many announcements, developed lots of expectations and enjoyed some moments of glory when the train ran, as well as bitter feelings of frustration when the train did not run after being programmed and promoted with the best intentions, but that was not enough. I have to thank many people who believed during all these years in the dream of getting this train back on its tracks, especially regarding the passenger train.

1 BIG THANKS TO Samuel Rachdi and all the members of AIFFLA, Peter Lais, Simone Probost, Philip Wormald, Michael Grimes and many more wonderful people whose names are part of this effort to make the people in the world understand the importance and the beauty of this great railroad. Special thanks to those writers who took the time to report and make the world interested in this project which, even when it was not my complete responsibility, I assumed as such with passion as a motivator and sometimes the one who kept the fire going even when many thought it was a useless fight… Some said, “The era of the train is over”, “These are modern times…”, “Don´t waste energy…. It is not going to run anymore”. I thought always that for that to be true Machu Picchu would have to be out of fashion… Or even worse we might forget those who made with their example and tenacity a wonderful train journey despite all the problems: the difficulties of the geography of the Andes, a war against Chile, lack of economic resources… but finally they made it! Thanks to: Matthew Parris from The Times Online and Jono David from Kansai Scene, and Joachim Gutjahr from Eisenbahn Kurier(Germany).

3 Some years ago this train changed my life for the better, just like one of my good friends who really helped me, this train gave me a different, and I believe a better, life.

Therefore when the Central Andes train collapsed, I promised to myself that I would do all that would be necessary to get it back working… How foolish I was with no money and not much life experience, but only good intentions and passion! From the time the train was privatized in 1999 I thought for sure that all services would improve. It took some years to get the train tracks changed and some new recycled engines, but there was not much for the passenger train. Still most of the train stations along the way from Lima to Huancayo need to be repaired. It was a cold gray day last Tuesday, but I arrived in the train station and the colorful coaches decorated with stripes of 2traditional weaving designs were a bright sight as Jaime Blanco from the Commercial Department was announcing the new passenger train service for 2007!! There were many Travel Agents, and people with cameras filming, and the old 206 locomotive was standing proud at the front. I felt happy, almost feeling like running to the Steam Loco 206 to sing to it like in the little train engine kid’s book: “I know you can do it… I know you can do it…”
5 The new coaches are very comfortable, there are nice clean toilets; the best parts are the bar and the open coach at the back. Surely they will be popular.

I believe new winds are blowing, the sun will shine and the new coaches, together with the old ones, will get up and across the Andes again. Incas del Peru will continue promoting the service, and now the most important part is that all of you people in the world visit us to enjoy this wonderful historical journey, which surely will be a memorable one.

WHY OUR CENTRAL ANDEAN TRAIN IS ALWAYS THE HIGHEST IN THE WORLD ?
   
The Highest train in the world is The pan-Himalayan line which climbs 5,072m (16,640ft) above sea level and runs across Tibet's snow-covered plateau - dubbed the roof of the world.(Since October 2005)
But, this is like all Chinese good intentions to take over the market in almost about everything….train1

With the BIG money invested (About 3 Billion dollars) and modern technology that got this train system running in only 4 years! Is not to compare to the sweat, blood and tears that our Historical train shows in the whole process of construction including a war against Chile and over 40 years work that is part of Peruvian History.
In the future some people would want to make a Machu Picchu in Miami or an Eiffel tower in China…. My question is: will it be the same feeling as the ORIGINAL?
Excuse my passion for this historical train, the only and unique HISTORICAL HIGHEST TRAIN IN THE WORLD, but for sure, if you are in Peru and you do not take your time to make this special trip you could be missing out of one of the Best Peruvian Highlights. Here in the heart of the Andes Incas del Peru and our team will always try our best.

 

Enjoy it, Sincerely
Lucho Hurtado.
  

 


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