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Part 3 – Tucumán, Salta and San Antonio de los Cobres – (Incomplete)

In October 1935 the Argentine government invited British Civil Servants to visit the partly constructed railway which is to connect Salta with the northern Chilean railway that leads eastwards to Antofagasta.

The party left Retiro station, the Central Argentine Railway terminus at Buenos Aires, being accommodated in a reserved coach kindly conceded by that company. So far nothing has been stated in this narrative about the part of the part of the country which we were now to visit.

The Pacific Railway is similarly equipped to the other three important British-owned railways and the degree of comfort enjoyed by the passengers is equal to that on the home railways.

As its name implies, the Pacific railroad communicates Buenos Aires and Valparaiso on the Pacific Ocean, via Santiago. It is, however, not a through journey as the Pacific railway itself ends in Mendoza, [xx] kilometres out. There the traveller changes (or rather did) to the Transandine line.

The Central Argentine, one of the big four of the British-owned railways, assists to form railroad communication between Buenos Aires and Bolivia, as far as Tucumán, [xx] kilometres out. Thence for Salta and on to Bolivia the traveller changes from 3’6” gauge to the 1.00 m gauge government line.

The journey as far as Tucumán is a monstrous one over apparently flat and treeless plains, excepting here and there a clump which indicates the homestead of either an estancia or a “puesto”. These plains form large cattle raising lands, broken occasionally by bales of cereals, whilst in the vicinity of large towns “tambos”, or dairy farms, make their debut.

My first visit to Tucumán was in 1906 and since that time towns have sprung up around stations and new stations have been introduced to satisfy the demands of progress, which in the course of time will become towns as well, thus the Argentine carries on.

On arrival at Tucuman we find that the government too has reserved two sleeping coaches for our accommodation and, after three hous rest and a visit to a place of interest, our journey is pursued.

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updated: 29 January 2014