Tren a las Nubes or “Train to the clouds” is one of the highest railways in the world. It starts its journey from the city of Salta, in Argentina, at the impressive altitude of 1,1,87 meters, crosses the Valle de Lerma, then enters the Quebrada del Toro and finally arrives at the La Polvorilla viaduct (4,200 meters).
The trip lasts 16 hours, the train travelling 217 km and climbing a staggering 3,000 meters. During its journey, the train crosses 29 bridges, 12 viaducts, 21 tunnels and traverses two enormous loops and two switchbacks.
This train’s name comes from the numerous clouds that are often seen under the bridges and around the slopes.
The route of the “Train to the clouds” was established by the American engineer Richard Fontaine Maury, who was the main person in charge of the project.
The train was originally built in order to serve to borax mines of the area, carrying goods from the coast of Chile through the Andes Mountains to northwestern Argentina, and started to transport tourists from the 1970s.