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International Railroad Discussion > Highest elevation on PeruRail


Date: 11/13/22 21:08
Highest elevation on PeruRail
Author: WP17

I just returned from a ride on the Andean Explorer from Cusco to Arequipa. All the material I could find online indicates that highest point on the route (on PeruRail, formerly Ferrocarril del Sur) is at La Raya between Cusco and Pono (14,150 ft). However several tour guides and employees working the train indicated that the train would reach even higher elevations on the morning of the third day somewhere west of Lake Saracocha where the train stabled for the night. I used an app on my phone to monitor elevation and saw elevations above 14,900 the third morning -- somewhat higher than La Raya.

Can one of the South American experts on this board clarify where the highest point on PeruRail's line between Cusco and Ariquipa is.

WP17



Date: 11/13/22 22:03
Re: Highest elevation on PeruRail
Author: zorz

WP17 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I just returned from a ride on the Andean Explorer
> from Cusco to Arequipa. All the material I could
> find online indicates that highest point on the
> route (on PeruRail, formerly Ferrocarril del
> Sur) is at La Raya between Cusco and Pono (14,150
> ft). However several tour guides and employees
> working the train indicated that the train would
> reach even higher elevations on the morning of the
> third day somewhere west of Lake Saracocha where
> the train stabled for the night. I used an app on
> my phone to monitor elevation and saw elevations
> above 14,900 the third morning -- somewhat higher
> than La Raya.
>
> Can one of the South American experts on this
> board clarify where the highest point on
> PeruRail's line between Cusco and Ariquipa is.
>
> WP17

Not sure where the highest point is, but that was the one train ride I'd swore I'd never take again after riding it in 1998. We hit a cow, had to stop and clean cow out of the locomotive brakes, lost the other train, had a gunman with an ak-47 try to get on board in Juliaca, had the train come apart, were attacked by bandits who threw bricks through the windows and tried to board the train, and were locked in our car with the lights out while the train sped away from the bandits.

I've ridden trains on every continent except Australia and Antarctica. That one was the worst...and now apparently is super luxe. Hope you had a better time than I did :D



Date: 11/14/22 17:52
Re: Highest elevation on PeruRail
Author: DKay

Sounds like quite the adventure. Saw this train trip on a travel show just a week ago , down here in Australia  ,and it looked amazing. They did mention the bandits a couple times though. regards,DK



Date: 11/16/22 03:51
Re: Highest elevation on PeruRail
Author: Hartington

When we rode the route in lateish 1979 we came from Cusco to Puno then took the "Ollanta" (steam ship built in Hull, England) overnight across to Bolivia. Trains there were on strike because (it turned out) there had been a revolution whilst we had been on the ship. Three days stuck in La Paz included some shooting outside our hotel then we took a bus back to Cusco. Went to the station to buy tickets on the sleeper to Arequipa and I was 2nd in the queue. They only sold tickets 24 hours before departure and the gent in front of me was going to Cusco so I "knew" I would get berths. Unfortunately, government and military could buy when they wanted and it was full.Next morning I got seats in first class on the day train the following day - the coach was big and heavy and out of keeping with the rest of the train which was post WW2 stock built by Cravens in the UK.

In Argentina in 2001 just before we left Buenos Aires there wer masssive demonstrations and the day after we departed they devalued the currency. In 2012 as we tried to get to the airport, the centre of BA was full of people supporting and demonstrating against the then President who was about to give the state of the nation address.

South America is a great plce to visit but you need to be prepared for the unexpected.

 



Date: 11/19/22 07:36
Re: Highest elevation on PeruRail
Author: GettingShort

Sounds like an episode from the first season of the BBC program Great Railway Journeys. 
I bet the Ollanta was quiet an experience. 


Hartington Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> When we rode the route in lateish 1979 we came
> from Cusco to Puno then took the "Ollanta" (steam
> ship built in Hull, England) overnight across to
> Bolivia. Trains there were on strike because (it
> turned out) there had been a revolution whilst we
> had been on the ship. Three days stuck in La Paz
> included some shooting outside our hotel then we
> took a bus back to Cusco. Went to the station to
> buy tickets on the sleeper to Arequipa and I was
> 2nd in the queue. They only sold tickets 24 hours
> before departure and the gent in front of me was
> going to Cusco so I "knew" I would get berths.
> Unfortunately, government and military could buy
> when they wanted and it was full.Next morning I
> got seats in first class on the day train the
> following day - the coach was big and heavy and
> out of keeping with the rest of the train which
> was post WW2 stock built by Cravens in the UK.
>
> In Argentina in 2001 just before we left Buenos
> Aires there wer masssive demonstrations and the
> day after we departed they devalued the currency.
> In 2012 as we tried to get to the airport, the
> centre of BA was full of people supporting and
> demonstrating against the then President who was
> about to give the state of the nation address.
>
> South America is a great plce to visit but you
> need to be prepared for the unexpected.
>
>  



Date: 11/19/22 08:21
Re: Highest elevation on PeruRail
Author: WP17

Well I'm disappointed that no one has yet to answer my original question:-(.

OTOH there was mention of the the steamer Ollanta and I thought I would share a photo of the Ollanta that I made last week while the Andean Explorer was parked overnight on the Puno pier. Enjoy

WP17




Date: 11/19/22 17:12
Re: Highest elevation on PeruRail
Author: boejoe

Nice shot of the ship.  Seems to be low in the stern.



Date: 11/20/22 11:05
Re: Highest elevation on PeruRail
Author: 86235

I think the problem you're having is that traditionally the Peruvian Southern consisted of two mainlines, Cuzco - Juliaca - Puno, the summit of which is at La Raya (14,153' above sea level) a nowhere place on the altiplano, where I took this picture.

The second mainline is from the coast at Mollendo / Matarani - Arequipa - Juliaca - Puno, it's summit is at Crucero Alto, between Juliaca and Arequipa, 14,666' above sea level.

I found this info in Brian Fawcett's Railways of the Andes, an essential book to anyone travelling in the Andean region.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/20/22 11:07 by 86235.




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