One of those trips to remember for sure, not only because of the heavily armed escort of peruvian soldiers (this was in the eighties when “Sendero luminoso” guerilla movement were active in the country. In 1992 the line had to close down for several years when bomb attacks killed 20 persons in the crew) but also because it happens to be the highest passenger railroad track in the world.
The route starts in Desamparados station in Lima at sea level. After an hour it reaches the town of Chosica. This is where the climb begins and we are not talking a simple uphill here we are talking the steep vertical mighty Andes.
Initially the train is zigzagging itself backwards and forwards gaining hight and edging its way between the mountain sides
The train totally passes 59 bridges and 66 tunnels on its dramatic and winding 12 hour journey through the cordillera to Huancayo.
The quick climb to altitudes close to 5000 meters is a brutal shock for the human body so the train company has a special service for the passengers who suffers from mountain sickness. Extra oxygen delivered by a man dressed in white. (see photo)
More or less half way on the track the train pulls in to “La Galera” station. At 4,781m it is the world’s highest train station. Compared to the dry pacific desert around Lima this is a completely different scenery and climate.
After climbing a few meters more the “Tren de la Sierra” starts to descend down towards the peruvian highland and the final destination of Huancayo.