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Rust in Peace

Train Graveyard-Bolivia

There's only one place you can go to visit the dead, the graveyard. Now you can visit one for reasons that are less depressing than usual. In a desolate city near Uyuni, Bolivia sits an abandoned railroad hub and terminal station, or in other words, a train graveyard. It has turned into a place where steam locomotives from the UK and US take their last and final stop.

Train Graveyard-Bolivia

The town had plans to develop the surrounding community in the 1800s starting with a railroad hub acting as a main junction connecting four lines from La Paz, Calama, Potosí, and Villazón, Unyuni. Time passed and the land was eventually neglected and became a dumping grounds for steam locomotives and their giant metal body parts. More than 200 years later, the destination has made its way into the itineraries of curious travelers.

Train Graveyard-Bolivia

Uyuni is a very small desert town with an estimated population of 10,000 people. Despite its lack of agriculture and water supply, it is home to the world's largest Salt Flats – Salar De Uyuni.

Train Graveyard-Bolivia

Visitors that are usually drawn to the area by the salt lakes run into the decaying trains and become fascinated with their thick walls of rust. The unrelenting rays of the sun have coated the trains with a rich mahogany layer, providing a perfect backdrop for writing messages.

Train Graveyard-Bolivia

Foreigners have come from all different corners of the earth to pay their respects by etching a note or two on their walls, similar to leaving flowers on a tombstone. Just because they're trains, doesn't mean that standard cemetery customs don't apply. RC

Images: WorldisRound, Nathan Nelson, Flickr

 

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  • William Wallace

    December 29, 2009

    Seems like an amazing place to visit and it sure beats visiting a boring old museum.

  • Bunnygotblog

    June 4, 2009

    What wonderful pictures of history.

  • tommy

    May 17, 2009

    Great pics. looks like a prime target for a recycling project. When scrap was a buck a pound there would have been a fortune there

  • Rizza

    May 4, 2009

    Since railroad hub construction in Uyuni started in the 1800s, 200 years later refers to the area now turning into a popular tourist destination. The trains are indeed from the early 20th century.

  • Interesting site. They seem quite well preserved but I’m sure they’re not 200 years old as you suggest. These locos were probably built in the 1940’s and 50’s.

Any comments?